Another Sunny Sanibel Friday With Beautiful Beaches


Wrapping up another week at SanibelSusan Realty – the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and gulf waters remain bright.  Below is a photo taken this afternoon while showing at condo at Pointe Santo.

Though rain was forecast for Memorial Day, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day then too. Since then, the weather has settled into the typical summer routine – sunny partly-cloudy days in the mid-80’s, with chance of afternoon or evening showers. Evenings in the 70’s.

With things slowly reopening, a few holiday visitors have been here this week, while some of the lagging snowbirds have packed up to head north for the summer. The pay parking lots at Sanibel’s beaches (except the county beach at Bowman’s) remain closed until June 1.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week are after a couple of news items below.

Other Sanibel Re-openings & Other Corona-Related News

The Sanibel Library re-opens June 1, with COVID-19 Phase One precautions.

At Sanibel Sea School there will be no in-person camps in June, but four virtual “Island Skillz” week-long classes through ZOOM are offered for children (ages 6 through 13).

The Children’s Center of the Islands will be open with summer camps for little ones (ages 1 through 5) beginning June 8 through July 31.

The Sanibel Recreation Center has not reopened yet but will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Tues.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum reopened over the weekend with occupancy limited to 50%, masks mandatory, and other safety measures in place. Many of their programs are moving outside to allow for property social distancing. Those programs will be held Mon-Sat at 2 p.m. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sanibel’s July 4th Parade has been canceled

The Turtles Are Back

Good info this week in SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) e-news. One item mentioned is that Juniper, a rare leatherback sea turtle that nested here can now be tracked in real-time as she travels Florida’s gulf coast. Named by the SCCF sea turtle team she is an average-sized leatherback which is the largest sea turtle species. These turtles rarely nest on the islands, as they prefer southeast Florida beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. FLI (Florida Leatherbacks Inc.) was contacted by SCCF when Juniper was here earlier this month which resulted in them placing a tracking device on her on May 19. As of May 22, she was north of Sarasota.

The first green sea turtle nest of the year was laid on Memorial Day on the bayside of Sanibel’s east end. Since it was on a narrow stretch of beach that is threatened by daily tidal inundation, the nest was relocated to a more suitable habitat on the gulf side. That bay area is not part of the daily monitoring by Sea Turtle patrol, so SCCF is thankful for the alert call to their Sea Turtle Hotline (978-728-3663).

Aside from the green turtle nest and three leatherback nests, as of Wed (May 26) there are 234 loggerhead turtle nests on the islands, compared to 140 last year. To keep up with the nesting on a daily basis, click here. To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 22-29, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $429K; Compass Point #221 2/2 $639,999; Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 $890K; Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 $899K; Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.53M.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $589K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Blind Pass #B209 2/2 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 listed at $799K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 $500K, Sand Pointe #111 2/2 $600K.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $668.5K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $719K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $775K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $975K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.139M.

4 new sales: 499 Peachtree Rd 2/2 listed at $474K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $559K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $689K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.027M.

1 closed sale: 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $868.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.495M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $725K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 15155 Wiles Dr 2/2 $1.975M, 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $4.889M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.689M.

1 new sale: 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Is Opening Slowly… Just in Time for Memorial Day


This week brought the first of the islands’ good summer showers which already have greened things up and affected some of the bright orange blooms on the big Royal Poinciana trees that are so spectacular here in May.

Also spectacular is the color of the gulf and bay waters. Though that changes when the rainy season begins and things get stirred up, this week many islanders remarked that driving across the causeway looks like a Caribbean postcard. (This photo was gulf side yesterday.)

Today is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty, but the island could get busier soon. Check out the scoop below about the City Council Meeting yesterday. After that is info about the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel Emergency Proclamation Extended

As background on City openings, on Tuesday, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the City’s Emergency Proclamation another seven days – or until May 26. The following three changes were part of the updated Proclamation which may be read on http://www.MySanibel.com.

  • The temporary parking restrictions at Pond Apple Park (1380 Periwinkle Way) and at The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (1159 Causeway Rd) are lifted.
  • Earlier restrictions on beach/pool chairs/equipment were modified to allow chair/equipment in the same percentage as the occupancy allowed (for example, hotels/resorts/timeshares approved for 50% occupancy may provide for guest use the same amount of chairs/equipment).
  • Additionally, the 227 units in the on-site resort rental program at Sundial were added to the hotel/resort/timeshare list based on their recent receipt of a motel license from Florida Division of Business & Professional Regulation.

So, Sanibel’s pay-parking lots remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday (will reopen June 1, unless there is another change). At that time, vacation rentals remained limited to 30 days or longer, except those properties with licenses as hotels/resorts/timeshares which may rent up to 50% occupancy (with safety precautions and with guests from COVID hotspots not allowed).

I ventured into a couple of off-island Publix this week and was surprised to find few patrons wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing precautions. At Bailey’s, they continue to provide a mask if you do not have one.

Sanibel Opens Vacation Rentals, With Restrictions & Exceptions

Last Friday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that beginning this past Monday, Florida was in full Phase One of reopening. Full Phase One includes a stipulation that vacation rentals can reopen on a county-by-county basis as long as the county submits a plan to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and it is approved by the secretary of DBPR. As of today, in just a week’s time, 26 Florida countries have received state approval for vacation rentals.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Lee County Commission on Tuesday and later in the week Lee County’s Safety Plan received state approval. Those plan details say:

  • Vacation rentals should open and operate for in-state reservations only (i.e. only Florida residents).
  • Short-term rental properties should prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally or from a state or locality with a substantial community spread of COVID-19.
  • Short-term rental properties should maintain 72 hours between guest check-ins to allow for effective cleaning and disinfecting of the rental unit.
  • Short-term rental properties shall thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals following CDC guidelines. cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-fac…
  • Short-term rentals shall post signage in all units detailing cleaning and sanitation procedure.

The county plan was revised and approved by the state to restrict vacation rentals to residents of states that have less than 700 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. That currently means residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are prohibited.

Those changes resulted in a Sanibel City Council Meeting yesterday afternoon which unanimously adopted the county plan.

During further Council discussion yesterday, regarding face masks, a motion to make them mandatory in public places (where social distancing cannot be done) was defeated 3-2, but a motion passed that recommends them, following the CDC requirements regarding face coverings. Those details were posted on www.MySanibel last night.

Things in Florida seem to be moving at a steady pace in the Full Phase One Reopening with places like gyms and fitness centers opening back up, and more people going into restaurants and stores. The latest breaking news was the Governor’s announcement that he will be lifting all restrictions on youth activities such as summer camps and youth sports. Hopefully, this will begin to provide some relief to both parents and kids as everyone settles into a new normal. The last day for Lee County Schools is right around the corner, June 3.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $789K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $895K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $353K, Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 listed at $469K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $729K.

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $790K, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.36M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $899K.

6 price changes: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $670K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 now $698K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $699K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $719K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $789K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.095M.

10 new sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $439K, 954 Donax St 3/3 listed at $525K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex listed at $525K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 listed at $625K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $694.5K, 1828 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $695K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 listed at $1.75M, 5044 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.15M.

2 closed sales: 730 Cardium St 2/2 $491.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 6411 Pine Ave listed at $329K, 6419 Pine Ave listed at $889K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.545M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2227 1/1 listed at $539K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.125M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 11542 Wightman Ln 5/5 $3.08M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Rain is expected here on Monday, but we need it & afternoon showers will soon be our norm.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Yes, You Can Buy Now… We Are Working & Ready to Help


It is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. The islands continue to reopen slowly with the toll booths still unmanned and the causeway islands sometimes packed, particularly on the weekend. (A sure sign that the gulf waters are clear and sparkling, and they are!)
SanibelSusan Realty is one of the few real estate offices physically open, but not much is happening. Yesterday, we got a couple of showing requests for the upcoming weekend/week and there has been some action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System. It is still an excellent time to buy!
The Association of Realtors® office remains closed, but many Realtors® have accepted the FISH Food Challenge and have donated groceries to their food pantry. Nearly 20 have donated just in the last week and the pantry continues to go through the food like crazy. Astounding but not surprising that there are so many hungry folks on the islands, with so many businesses closed, particularly those that cater to vacationers.
Below is an update on re-opening progress, after which is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System.

Latest City Proclamation Due to the Threat of COVID-19

Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, scheduled to discuss beach parking and short-term rentals/hotels, turned into a 6+hour event with plenty of public comment and differences of opinions on many items discussed. That meeting resulted in a new City proclamation dated Wednesday. There has been a lot of confusion about the changes, particularly as they apply to vacation rentals, so below, for clarification, are some excerpts from the actual Proclamation No. 20-028  (which may be read in its entirety on www.MySanibel.com).
“…on May 12,2020, the City Council met for a special set public meeting to discuss COVID-19, including consideration of temporary restrictions and prohibitions related to the declared State of Local Emergency; and … City Council voted in support of taking certain actions to reopen the local economy on a gradual basis and consistent with the Governor’s phased approach, including the following:
A. Allowing the current restrictions on accommodations rentals to expire, subject to emplacing a lessened restriction on vacation rentals which closely follows the Governor’s restriction… and allowing new rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares under restricted occupancy and conditions intended to mitigate any community spread of COVID-19; and
B. Extending certain public beach parking restrictions for an additional duration; and
C. Strongly encouraging the wearing of face masks by employees of places of public accommodations and by all members of the public who cannot properly socially distance; and
D. Raising parking fines to $200, is a result of the significant volume of parking violations particularly in and around beach access points.”
As further clarification, the proclamation says:
SECTION 2. Temporary restrictions on accommodation rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” identified in Attachment A…, which include all 37 “hotels”, “motels”, and “timeshare projects” on Sanibel … are subject to the following temporary restrictions, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council:
A. Occupancy is limited to 50% of the units within the public lodging establishment; and
B. No reservations or check-ins are permitted from anyone that resides in or is travelling from an area identified by the Governor of Florida to be a “hot spot” of substantial community spread of COVID-19, including Louisiana, the New York Tri-State rea (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida; and
C. All places of public accommodation are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, which can be found under SANCAP SAFE RESOURCES at https://members.canibel-captiva.org/; and
D. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restrictions nothing in this section restricts or otherwise affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 3. Temporary restrictions on accommodations rentals at vacation rentals. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” on Sanibel which are “vacation rentals”,… but not including the hotels, motels, and timeshare projects…, are subject to a temporary rental restriction of a minimum duration of 30 days, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council. For the purposes of this section, the rental restriction is application to anyone who is not an owner of the unit. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restriction, nothing in this section affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 4. Paid public beach parking restrictions. The paid public beach parking restrictions currently in place as extended by … which … are due to expire on May 15, 2020 are hereby extended to May 31, 2020 after which such restrictions will expire and public beach parking will reopen.
“SECTION 5. Wearing of face masks. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the wearing of face masks by all employees of retail shops, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation who interact with members of the public, as well as by all people in any public area where social distancing is not feasible or otherwise occurring is strongly encouraged.
SECTION 6. Parking fines. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020 fines for all parking violations are temporarily raised to $200.00…..”
So, in a nutshell, short-term vacation rentals including those in residential communities, condo complexes or resorts, not included on the 37-property list (of hotels, motels, and timeshares) cannot rent for a period of less than 30 days. This is in accordance with the Governor’s phased reopening and more related to how properties are defined by Florida Statute/Florida Department of Revenue classification, than by any desire to penalize rentals which typically are nightly, weekly, or biweekly.
The Proclamation may change as more state and county guidance is provided and new COVID-19 data evolves. The changes/restrictions are emergency measures taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
The number of Sanibel’s reported cases remains low at 11, but testing remains limited and the antibody test is not expected here until next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Readying Most of State to Enter Phase Two Reopening

An internet posting yesterday said that Jacksonville could host Friday’s official announcement by the Governor. When he addressed reporters in Doral yesterday, he said that a “good announcement” was coming Friday that would apply to most of the state. This announcement came just hours after Tampa Bay Times reporter Lawrence Mower tweeted a Florida Chamber email saying to expect a May 18 entrance into Phase Two. The Governor disclaimed any advance announcement in response to reporters’ questions, claiming to “march to the beat of [his] own drummer.”
In Phase Two, people from vulnerable populations would still be asked to self-isolate, groups of up to 50 would be permitted, albeit with social distancing still in play. Phase Two would also allow increased restaurant capacity, as well as the reopening of gyms, schools, and bars with social distancing and diminished occupancy. The Governor stressed these are modest changes.
Though South Florida may still be on a slower path, the Governor noted that Florida is a “diverse state,” and he won’t “sit here rolling back the entire state if there’s an outbreak in Hialeah.”

Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

This week was the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Legislative Meetings in Washington DC. This annual event usually brings Realtor® leaders from around the nation to the capitol. With COVID-19 interrupting those plans this year, committee meetings and conference sessions were held virtually.
This event also is when Realtors® who have achieved National Hall of Fame status are recognized. That also were done virtually. Congratulations to Florida’s 17 new Hall of Fame members. That boosts our state members in 2019 to 106. I am proud to be one of them. (I know my picture is old… I made the club for the first time in 2016.)
Below is an article written by Shannon McGahn. She is senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®.
“It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news.
“For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough.
“The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was up 8% from March 2019 as prices increased in every region.
“And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
“The pandemic also hasn’t stopped real estate transactions outright like in many other sectors. A recent survey of NAR members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new technology like remote notarization.
“Even those pausing their real estate transactions still plan to buy and sell once again within a few months.
“What’s more, NAR research unveiled earlier this year found that, since 2013, the median family net worth for all homeowners has increased by nearly 15%.
“Data from the study strongly suggests that “sustainable and affordable homeownership” remains the best opportunity “most households will ever have to improve their long-term net worth and financial security.”
“Property ownership is turning into a financial rock for many Americans during this crisis, and Congress has gone to great strides to help protect that investment.
“For those who can no longer pay their mortgage, new forbearance rules allow them to put off payments for up to a year without impacting their credit.
“Helping people struggling with rent and mortgage payments is a good thing, but we also do not want to spur another crisis down the line for property managers and owners who do not have relief from their obligations. Policymakers should take a comprehensive look and beware of unintended consequences.
“For REALTORS® who have seen a dramatic drop in their business (right as the crucial spring buying season arrived), new benefits like forgivable small business loans and unemployment assistance not normally available to the self-employed or independent contractors are helping them weather the storm.
“The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund were created so quickly that banks had a hard time keeping up with demand. Money ran out for the PPP in two weeks, and another round of replenishment sped through the legislative process. PPP and EIDL grants got billions more in funding and will help keep millions more employed. Congress deserves credit for responding in a bipartisan and lightning-fast way even if the rollout of those programs was less than perfect.
“We’ve heard from many REALTORS® around the country who have secured PPP loans and saved scores of jobs. People like Anthony Lamacchia of Waltham, Mass., who reports he can now keep all 47 of his employees on the payroll.
“The strength of the housing sector will be critical to our national recovery. After all, the real estate industry makes up nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and every two houses sold creates one American job.
“America has been experiencing a housing shortage for years as demand for homes has consistently outpaced supply in most major U.S. markets. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has stated his expectation that, once we get through the worst of this crisis, housing demand will reemerge quickly. Our economic recovery won’t be a slow-build like what followed the 2008 financial crisis.
“America’s financial and lending systems look vastly different today than they did before the Great Recession shook America’s economic core. Changes to strengthen lending standards and eliminate loose credit have pushed default and foreclosure rates toward record lows.
“It has never been more clear that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make.
“Economic downturns and public health crises—no matter how severe—will never change this fundamental fact.
“But what has become even more apparent is that during this crisis, home has become more important than ever.
If Congress continues to be a champion of the American people and protect homeownership, by all indicators, real estate can and will help get our economy going again.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 8-15, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS
3 new listings: Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $685K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $868.5K.
5 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $265K, Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $357.9K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $479K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $539K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.095M.
1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 listed at $914.5K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #D310 1/1 $372K, Sundial #B308 1/1 $505K, High Tide #A101 2/2 $1.075M.
HOMES
1 new listing: 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
3 price changes: 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $689.9K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $694.5K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $839K.
4 new sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $399.9K, 857 Rabbit Rd 1/1 listed at $489K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $659K.
1 closed sale: 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.7M.
LOTS
1 new listing: 690 Birdie View Pt $369K.
1 price change: 1313 Par View Dr now $300K.
1 new sale: 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 now $1.425M.
1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 listed at $889K.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 $6.495M.
1 price change: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $988K.
2 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 16221/16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.389M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
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.
Below is our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper.
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The Social Distancing Continues…


Happy Friday, from SanibelSusan.

The good news is that the islands just got their first heavy dousing of rain in months. It was part of a band of cooler air passing through Florida, with another band expected to arrive soon. The parking lot behind the office was briefly a humongous puddle, but it was absorbed quickly. Water is badly needed here with many areas parched from the extended dry season this winter.

The bad news is that two more Sanibel corona virus cases were posted yesterday by the Florida Department of Health. After several weeks of having just six cases, the number jumped to eight. The “stay at home” order remains in effect and social distancing continues with Sanibel’s Emergency Proclamation running through April 28 and rental restrictions until April 30, unless further extended.

It has been another lonely week with just me in the office for at least a few hours most days. With today’s technology, it is certainly easy to stay connected from home, but the office routine sure helps to keep one productive.

Thankfully, this week there were a few more inquiries about our listings, including a couple of showings. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Unfortunately, there were no sales on either island.

I was encouraged again this week by conversations with colleagues who think, as I do, that when this is over, the island again will boom. There already was pent-up demand and that will increase when vacation travel reopens. One even predicts our future will have what he calls the “boomerang” affect. I hope he’s right.

Florida Realtors® COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form

Though not mandatory, Florida Realtors® Legal Department has released a form on their database, Forms Simplicity which is free to state Realtors®. Called the COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form, it addresses the risk of entering real estate properties. Safety is the main consideration.

The form was designed to be given once to a seller by the listing agent, to cover future showings during the term of the listing, where the seller directs the listing agent/brokerage to continue to bring potential buyers to the seller’s property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

It also can be given to a buyer by a selling agent, when a buyer requests a selling agent to show buyer property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

There is no language that can prevent a lawsuit, but this form provides an opportunity for Realtors® to confirm with owners and prospects that they understand there are risks involved with in-person showings, will minimize these risks as outlined in the form and are willing to assume these risks.

Buy & Build Renovation Program

With interest rates low, more folks are refinancing, and more buyers – some who usually would be paying cash – are financing to take advantage of today’s programs. Realtors® often receive email from local lenders about their rates and program offerings. Here is info from an interesting one received yesterday from Dan Royal with American Momentum Bank.

“We offer the “Buy & Build Renovation Program” for purchase transactions on single family homes and condominiums!

“Example:                 $1,000,000 sales price

+ $500,000 renovation cost

=          $1,500,000 total cost

x          80%

=          $1,200,000 loan

=             $300,000 down payment

“This allows the buyer to finance their renovation cost at the same time they are closing on the home or condo, with interest only payments during the renovation period. When the renovation has been completed the loan is modified to a traditional mortgage with monthly principal and interest payments. This is available to primary and second-home borrowers for single-family homes and condominiums.”

That day’s rates with no points were 2.875% for a 15-year fixed loan and 3.125% for 30-year fixed. Contact Dan for more details at droyal@americanmomentum.bank

Making Good Use of the Down Time from Effects of COVID-19

Many are making good use of their time from “stay at home” orders. They are cleaning out closets, purging of unneeded items, donating to those less fortunate, sorting photos and files, deep cleaning, and making household repairs.

Tarpon Beach – This week I also heard that the condo association at one of our listings, Tarpon Beach, has decided to begin their fall Concrete Restoration Project sooner. With their contractor considered an essential business and working within Covid-19 guidelines, it could be that the lanai work at this complex will start soon.

Kings Crown – At Kings Crown, they have a similar construction project scheduled to begin this summer when occupancy restrictions are required as units and buildings get new balcony screens and other repairs. Due to these access changes and any hardship resulting from COVID-19, that Association is easing their two-week rental restriction for this summer and next. Through Oct 3 this year and from May 1 through Oct 2, 2021, the Association has advised owners that they will conditionally waive their normal 2-week rental requirement with the understanding that the Association fully intends to respect, adhere to, and enforce any City of Sanibel accommodation rental requirements, social distancing, or travel restrictions that may exist at any given time.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

April 15 officially marked the first day of sea turtle nesting season which goes through October. Monitoring of sea turtle nests on islands began in the 50’s and was taken over by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in 1992.

SSCF’s Sea Turtle Program staff monitor the 18 miles of beaches from the Sanibel Lighthouse to Redfish Pass, looking for signs of new turtle activity. When a nest is found, it is roped off, documented, and watched. (When the virus “stay at home” orders are lifted, over 100 volunteers also will assist.)

The first two nests of the year were recorded on Sanibel, none yet on Captiva. On the very first day, on the east end, a loggerhead turtle nest was recorded. This is the earliest one documented on Sanibel. Two days later, a rare leatherback turtle nest was spotted further west.

Before the official start of season, SCCF documented a couple of false crawls. On April 1, a leatherback was reported on Sanibel and on April 14 a loggerhead was reported on Captiva.

Loggerhead sea turtle

Loggerheads are the most common marine turtle species to nest on the islands, followed by green sea turtles, which are unusual. Leatherbacks and Kemp’s Ridley’s are rare but have nested here before. Here are their differences:

  • Loggerhead turtles grow to 3’ to 3-1/2’ long, weighing 150 to 300 pounds. Females lay three to six nests per year on average, but only nest every couple of years. These turtles produce the most common sea turtle nests found in Florida.

    Green sea turtle

  • Green sea turtles are bigger, about 4’ long and weighing up to 400 pounds. They lay three to six nests every other year. Green turtles are more common on Florida’s east coast.
  • Leatherbacks are the largest, growing to 7’ and weighing to 1,500 pounds. Nesting every couple of years, leatherback turtles typically lay five to eight nests. They also are more common on the East Coast.

    Leatherback sea turtle

  • Kemp Ridley’s are the smallest. They also are endangered, with sightings rare. They average 1-1/2’ to 2’ and can weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Nesting every other year, or more, though not at night, they normally lay two to four nests. These nests are found mostly in Texas and Mexico.

Kemp Ridley sea turtle

Important reminders to keep the islands sea-turtle friendly:

  • Turn off or shield all lights visible from the beach.
  • Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Before dark, remove all beach furniture and equipment from beach.
  • Properly dispose of fishing line to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that may trap hatchlings and nesting turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles.
  • Pick up litter.
  • Recreational boaters, reproductive-age turtles are close to shore, please slow down and watch for them.

To report a nest or false crawl, contact SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-728-3663 (978-SAVE-ONE). More info about the program at www.SCCF.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 17‑24, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes:  Sunset South #11A 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 now $799K.

Colonnades #3 1/1 now $269K.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 990 & 992 Greenwood Ct N (duplex, both sides) 3/2.5 (each side) $724K.

3 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 now $485K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 now $999K, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.695M,

No new sales.

6 closed sales: 766 Donax St (duplex, both sides) 2/1 (each side) $599K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $655K, 1014 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $675K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $825K, 637 Lighthouse Way 3/4 $1.2M. 1490 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $1.5M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 $495K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6.5.5 now $6.899M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Below our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Still Smelling the Gardenia at SanibelSusan Realty


Hi, everyone. It’s been another lonely week at SanibelSusan Realty. The team remains mostly at their homes while I’ve been in the office for a few hours most days trying to stay productive and get more interest in our listings.

To illustrate how quiet it is, I also came in late Sunday to send the Monday morning payroll. When I drove home about 7 p.m. the only other moving vehicles on Periwinkle between the office and my east-end home were two cars and a one lone biker. Granted it was Easter, but that sure was eerie – particularly when Easter usually is one of the busiest weeks of the year here.

As far as the number of virus cases on the islands, the Florida Department of Health report, as if 10 a.m. this morning, shows no change since last week, with Sanibel still 6 and Captiva 1. Here’s hoping that means businesses can reopen and folks can get back to work soon.

While at my desk, I have chatted with a few colleagues, commiserated with other brokers, and responded to a couple of listing inquiries. Also, we thankfully had a nice closing yesterday!

This afternoon, I posted a new listing at Mariner Pointe. It is in excellent condition and with wonderful view of bay (and canal from private open front deck). Great value too – is the lowest-priced 2-bedroom unit available there. It’s nicely updated and fully equipped as a vacation rental, with or without future bookings (buyer’s choice).

View from Mariner Pointe #522

The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. There was just one new sale on both islands, a Sand Pointe condo went under contract.

Island Chamber Launches Campaign “#ParadiseCanWait”

The islands’ Chamber of Commerce has launched a social media campaign aimed at promoting social responsibility, while supporting island businesses during COVID-19. As part of #ParadiseCanWait, visitors are asked not to outright cancel their plans, but to postpone or reschedule them for a later date when it’s again safe to travel. Below is the message posted on to their website at www.sanibel-captiva.org.

While our beaches aren’t going anywhere at this time, neither should you. We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time. We encourage everyone to stay at home in order to keep yourself, and others, healthy. At this time all Sanibel hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals are closed through April 24, 2020. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to sunshine and seashells soon.”

The next component of the campaign will roll out when the islands are ready to relaunch and reopen – when it’s safe. We all look forward to the Chamber’s “Paradise Is Ready” announcements and videos.

Sanibel, Best Small Town in Florida

Or so said the website “Far and Wide” in their on-line posting on April 10:

We know travel plans are impacted right now. But to fulfill your wanderlust, we’ll continue to share stories that can inspire your next adventure.

“Big cities like New York and Los Angeles may get most of the attention, but America is filled with small towns and communities that have long formed the backbone of the nation. These towns are filled with their own history, museums and cultural attractions, but also come with the added appeal of home-spun charm and hometown heroes.

“While millions spend big dollars to pack themselves like lemmings into big-city attractions, America’s wonderful small towns offer a carefree getaway at a fraction of the cost.

“Turning to the likes of U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, Architectural Digest, The Travel Channel and House Beautiful magazine, here is a look at the best small town in every U.S. state.”

The states are listed alphabetically with a photo and write-up about each town represented. (Check the total article yourself at

https://www.farandwide.com/s/best-small-town-by-state-81e39983579047d3

Here’s what it posted about Florida: “Sanibel Island

photo from “Far and Wide” article

“Population: 7,402

“A Favorite Of: U.S. News & World Report

“Florida is so much more than an amusement-park destination or the home of a certain Latin-inspired Art Deco mega-city. You’ll also find amiable small towns up and down the peninsula state’s coastline, including one of the top 20 small towns according to U.S. News: Sanibel Island.

“Just 12 miles long and 3 miles wide, Sanibel features shell-covered beaches and wildlife refuges for a truly off-the-beaten-path Floridian getaway.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listingsMariner Pointe #522 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sundial T301 2/2 $845K.

1 price change:  Colonnades #3 1/1 now $269K.

1 new sale: Sand Pointe #132 2/2 asking $709K.

4 closed sales: Seashells #3 2/2 $451,400; Sundial #C210 1/1 $460K; Sanibel Arms West #I-7 $560K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.175M (our listing/sale).

HOMES

1 new listing: 528 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4 $1,995M.

2 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 now $485K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 now $875K,

No new sales.

8 closed sales: 760 Cardium St 3/2 $575K, 5303 Ladyfinger Rd 3/2 $660K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $760K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $825K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.180M, 3851 Coquina Dr 3/2.5 $1.2M, 637 Lighthouse Way 3/4 $1.2799M, 1018 Dixie Beach Blvd 4/5 $2M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Here is our ad from today’s issue of the “Island Sun”. (The Editor called after receiving it and said she likes my forecast. I hope you like it too.)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend – or as good as it can be given today’s circumstances. (I’m still taking time to smell the “gardenia” and they sure smell great.)

Stay well.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s The Little Things… Staying Positive on Sanibel Island


It’s lonely in the office again this afternoon. Yesterday, teammate Dave stopped by the back door briefly when he was on the island doing a couple of real estate errands. First time I’d seen him in almost a month and hardly recognized the scruffy bearded guy. (Smart boy didn’t mention my ugly hair.)

Real estate is considered an essential business, so I’m in the office a few hours here and there, though our office remains physically closed. Mostly, the team is working at home as we can, using social distancing.

Yesterday also brought my first home delivery grocery order from Bailey’s. It was like a kid at Christmas, amazing what becomes exciting when we are stuck at home.

I’ve even enjoyed admiring the gardenia bush by my front door which I’m sure has bloomed year-after-year, but this time of the year, life usually is too busy to notice. So, as inconvenient as this is, it’s been wonderful to “stop and smell the gardenias.”

Also, yesterday, a friend dropped a homemade gift in my mailbox. See photo – how special is this? The sweet message that accompanied the gift: “And then the whole world walked inside. Shut their doors & said “We will stop it all – EVERYTHING – to protect our weaker ones, our sicker ones, our older ones.” And nothing – NOTHING – in the history of mankind ever felt more like LOVE than this.”

So, as we all work our way through a special, but unusual week of Passover, Easter, and spring – I hope you all are safe, well, and part of the crowd that individually is flattening the curve.

As far as number of virus cases here – as of 10 a.m. today, April 10, the Florida Department of Health reports that Sanibel has 6 and Captiva 1.

Who knows what one can really believe from the news these days, but it seems to be a consensus that the peak here will be in about two weeks. Local schools remain closed until May 1 and last night the news included information on how a virtual graduation will happen at Florida Gulf Coast University on May 3.

Through the week, I have been in touch with our local banks and title company where loans and closings continue to occur. Some are working from home, thank goodness today’s technology makes things easier.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 3-10, 2020

Since a few listings have been withdrawn or terminated early, below from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is a summary of the islands’ condo, home, and lot inventory today, compared to units under contract, sales year-to-date, compared to the same period last year, and total sales in 2019.

As the table shows, our market was improving nicely before this happened.

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
Sanibel
For sale 120 790,000 185 1,320,474 76 724,707
Under contract 17 890,617 34 1,029,244 1 2,600,000
Sold 1/1-4/10/20 52 718,195 67 1,119,889 4 849,666
Sold 1/1-4/10/19 39 638,608 46 1,086,050 2 250,000
Total Sold in 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Captiva
For sale 46 1,059,692 46 3,309,217 3 3,563,000
Under contract 2 1,150,000 1 2,495,000 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-4/10/20 7 917,714 7 3,331,142 2 1,925,000
Sold 1/1-4/10-19 7 1,292,571 1 2,800,000 0 N/A
Total Sold in 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Note: For sale & Under contract = asking prices.

Below, also from the MLS, is the action posted since last Friday. The most activity this week was Sanibel closings, likely from contracts written before the shutdown. There was no activity at all (new listings, price changes, new or closed sales) on Captiva.

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $219.9K.

2 new sales: Kings Crown #110 2/2 asking $795K, High Tide #A101 2/2 asking $1.295M.

5 closed sales: Sandpebble #2F 2/2 $425K, Sundial #D205 1/1 $435K, Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $450K; Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 $550K, Sundial #L404 2/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 $999K

4 price changes: 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 now $599K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $725K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 now $899K,

No new sales.

7 closed sales: 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 1/2 duplex $530K; 5297 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $610K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $745K; 822 Beach Rd 4/4 duplex $775K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $794,208; 599 Lake Murex Cir 4/3.5 $1.225M; 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.952M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1331 Par View Dr $340K.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Looking forward, SanibelSusan’s crystal ball says “everything’s gonna be alright”. I bet when this is over, many will want a peaceful vacation, with Sanibel/Captiva preferred over international or cruise travel.

Here’s our ad from today’s issue of the “Island Sun”.

Happy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. The Easter bunny may be lost, but look at this little guy munching what’s left of my side lawn last night. The Sanibel bunnies have returned & I love them even if they do a number on any new green shoots.

Washing Hands & Taking Time to Smell the Gardenia


SanibelSusan is operating solo again today. The team and I are following recommendations about staying at home with only occasional exceptions. I haven’t seen their smiling faces in what seems like forever, but thanks to texting and social media, we stay in touch.

Saturday, I made my weekly trip to Bailey’s for groceries. It was heartwarming to see their workers smiling and shelves stocked. Richard Johnson himself was filling the paper goods aisle and handed me a container of Tropical Seas Hand Sanitizer. Said he’d just gotten it in from the other coast. (It’s from Ormond Beach – antibacterial, biodegradable, non-toxic to sea life, and smells wonderful. www.tropicalseas.com.)

Tuesday, right on time, teammate Dave had a closing at Knight Barry Title for a Gulf Harbour condo listing. Heidi at Knight Barry said their office had some busy days with end-of-the-month closings. They also have received a couple of orders for new contracts (encouraging news). I got a chuckle when she said that Jackie did one closing on the hood of a car in their parking lot – keeping socially distanced.

I just made a quick trip to West Gulf Dr to check our listing at Tarpon Beach #207. It really is a shame that the island is closed. Look at how beautiful the gulf is!

A couple of news items below cover how the island is responding to the coronavirus and how FloridaRealtors® has advised its members. After that is the weekly action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Protecting Islanders

Below is the WinkNews.com posting last night from their interview with Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane:

Sanibel mayor talks about how they are protecting island residents

“It’s already quieter on Sanibel. The beaches are closed and you can no longer rent a room at a hotel.

“We asked Mayor Kevin Ruane how else they could be protecting full-time residents and if they would go as far as closing the only way on and off the island. “We’re not opposed to going to a hurricane pass situation like we had during the hurricane,” he said. “Without the pass, you can’t come out on the island.”

“When it came to police being used to stop non-residents from entering the island, Ruane said they’re not looking at that as an option right now. “But certainly, that’s not necessarily something that’s not going to be on the table or under consideration in the future,” he added.

“Ruane says since the average age of full-time residents is 67, he’s trying to educate everyone on how to stay safe. “We’re trying to embrace social distancing or educating our community, working with our local grocery stores, making sure they have the necessary tools, putting x’s on the bottom of their floors when you keep six feet apart. Again, we’re trying to be as proactive as we can. I’ve said to my senior citizens, stay home,” he said.

“So far, he says the three people diagnosed with COVID-19 on the island are doing okay and want to make sure the message of “stay home if you can” really sticks.

“The mayor says they also had to furlough 47 part-time employees and hope to eventually bring them all back.

“For Sanibel’s COVID-19 updates, click here.

Latest Info on Coronavirus for Realtors® in Florida

Below are some excerpts from an article posted today (Apr 3, 2020) at FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“Florida Realtors is monitoring everything regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the real estate industry and Realtors and sharing it here.

Florida stay-at-home order:  Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order calling for all Floridians to stay home except to obtain essential services. This order is effective at midnight April 2 and lasts 30 days. Per the order, residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, are considered essential. Although members may continue to operate, they are not required to do so. A second executive order clarified that the stay-at-home order “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.”

Suspension of vacation rentals: In an effort to discourage visitors to the state who may be carrying the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a two-week suspension of new vacation rentals (30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less). The order does not apply to current occupants of vacation rentals. The Executive Order can be found here.

COVID-19 extension addendum to contract: Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and contract performance: The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, but is it considered, legally speaking, an “act of God”? Here’s a look at how a court may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this time. The white paper can also be downloaded as a PDF here.

Remote notaries: On Jan. 1, authorization for remote notarizations became law, meaning buyers and sellers no longer have to be in the same room. Here’s what you need to know.

Open houses: All Realtors are encouraged to follow NAR’s guidance regarding Open Houses found here.

CDC business safety strategies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance for businesses and employers here.

“NAR guides for Realtors and Realtor Associations: The National Association of Realtors has posted a guide for Realtors in relation to COVID-19 and a guide for Realtor Associations in relation to COVID-19.

Travel guidance: Here is specific information from the CDC regarding travel.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 27 – April 3, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $449K, Sundial #D403 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: High Tide #A101 2/2 asking $1.295M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $475K, Pointe Santo #C2 2/2 $757.5K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $823K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $535K.

3 price changes: 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 1285 Par View 4/2.5 now $799K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $889K.

No new sales.

7 closed sales: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 $447K; 1458 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $465K; 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $530K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $794,208; 1333 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $975K; 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $995K; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $4.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd now $219K; 1219 Par View Dr now $284,999.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 $2.389M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16151 & 16155 Captiva Dr $3M.

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 Associations.

Until next Friday, stay well, wash those hands, & continue to take the time to smell the roses (at my house now, it’s the gardenias – they are just starting to bloom & smell so good),

If you get too bored give me a call, taking about real estate is way more fun than commiserating about the virus.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Practicing Social Distancing at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that though our physical office has been closed since last Friday, I could stand it at home no longer and am in the office today (locked in alone) playing catch-up and preparing this update on my comfy office computer.

As you may have already heard, most island businesses are closed. Sanibel’s two grocery stores and two pharmacies remain open, some with reduced hours. County-regulated beaches like the causeway and Bowman’s have been closed for some time, with Sanibel’s “pay” parking lots also closed, as well as the fishing pier.

Yesterday, Sanibel City Council posted that island events and City meetings have been canceled through the end of April. Businesses providing accommodations and short-term rentals (for periods of less than 7 days) have been directed to cancel those short reservations through April. Restaurants also are closed, with some still open limited hours for take-out. However, selling alcohol for on-site consumption is prohibited.

So, though I always try to make the best of any situation and always be “kind”, it made me angry to drive down Periwinkle this morning and see the bike path packed and several businesses still open with lots of cars in their parking lots. I could see people congregating in groups.

As a small business owner, I certainly can understand that any income may be better than none, but we all need to be practicing social distancing and staying home (or locked in a closed office).

As of the latest report (5 p.m. last night) from the Florida Department of Health, there are 61 cases of the virus in Lee County, including two on Sanibel.

The SanibelSusan Team can work from home. Dave and Elise also have plenty of sick leave which they may take as they want. Dave has an off-island closing scheduled next week that is expected to close on time, while on Monday Elise will become the principal at her home school with her kiddos. In the meantime, we all will do our best to get our listings sold and keep our contracted sales on track.

The activity since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is below. No new sales in the last seven days on either island.

I have received a few emails about what I think with happen with our market and regarding listing property now. Then, this afternoon I got a call from some folks who have been here all month and are heading home on Monday. Sure, I can show them a condo today at 5 p.m. It is a unit that hasn’t be occupied for more than two weeks (so should be safe), and we will stay at least six feet apart and with sanitizing wipes in hand. Wish me luck! (It’s not one of our listings, but proves our open houses followed up by post card mailings work.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 20-27, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #13 1/1 $315K, Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $815K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $432K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.179M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $360K; Blind Pass C204 2/2 $469K; Sand Pointe #137 2/2 $1,062,500; Seascape #304 3/3 $1.2M.

HOMES

4 new listings:  1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5,1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.375M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.395M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $2.149M.

6 price changes: 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $534K; 1573 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549.5K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $670K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $695K; 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 now $739,555; 4014 W Gulf Dr 4/3 now $3.699M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $585K, 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 $655K, 975 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $781K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 $1,167,500.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas A209 1/1 $309K, Seabreeze #1251 3/3 $2.25M.

No price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.48M, Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15295 Captiva Dr $850K.

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.

I also was interviewed last weekend about our office precautions with the virus. Here’s a link to the paper if you want to read the whole article. It begins on the front page.

https://islandsun.suncoastpress.com/scp/isn-032720/flipbook/0/

Stay well,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

When The Goin’ Gets Tough, The Tough Stay Calm


It has been a pretty quiet week at SanibelSusan Realty. I only kept the office open until mid-afternoon on Saturday. Without the phone ringing even once, at 2:30 p.m. I called the only other island real estate office open and found that they were not getting calls either. So, I made the executive decision to close and go get my nails done.

Then, while manning the office solo on Monday, I cleaned out some old files and came across the below “Guide to Deciphering Showing Feedback”.

What the agent SAYS What the agent MEANS
The buyer thought the property was too small. The buyer found larger properties for the same price.
They liked the property but bought another. The buyer found other properties that were better values.
They liked the property but bought a new one. Buyers generally will pay 10-15% more for a new or updated property making it difficult to compete.
They didn’t like the old carpet. The seller should consider replacing the carpet.
They thought the yard was too small, the street too busy. They found other homes with larger years, quieter streets for the same price.
The property needs some work. The seller may need to make minor repairs or neutralize paint or reduce the price accordingly.
They didn’t like the floor plan. Hard to overcome this objection.

The lesson here is that price objections often come cloaked in different terms. If you are selling, listen carefully to feedback and make your adjustments swiftly. Your ULTIMATE GOAL is to be the very best property in your price range.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The rest of the week, Elise and I have both been in the office, but the inquiries have been few. Her weekly report of the action on the local MLS is after a few news items below.

Though our office has remained open, our phones have rung just a few times. The local Association of Realtors® is closed and their events and in-person meetings are cancelled for the next few weeks.

Most island organizations and non-profits also are closed, while the FISH Food Pantry remains open and their meal deliveries continue. It is a good time to clean out your pantry and bring them some non-expired non-perishable items. Soon, FISH will be preparing Easter baskets for needy children, family dinners, and elderly shut-ins. If you do not have food goods to donate, they happily accept monetary donations, Easter candy, coloring books, crayons, and grocery store gift cards.

Time to Get Moving

A favorite author, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, had the following article in the March/April 2020 “REALTOR®” magazine: “Resistance to change is keeping some consumers from finding homes.

“There’s no such thing as lifetime employment in America. People change jobs. Businesses are created and destroyed. New technology, more efficient ways of doing things, changes in consumer taste – these are the stuff of life.

“Even with the current unemployment rate at 3.5%, a 50-year low, about 5.6 million workers stopped working for their latest employer last December alone. Some were fired or let go, while others left in the hope of moving on to something better. In fact, during the same month, 5.8 million workers started with a new employer. The 200,000 difference, in this example, is what’s reported as the headline for monthly net job creation. Miraculously, this thin margin between job gains and job losses has been consistently positive over the past decade, which is the reason for the cumulative gain of 20 million net new jobs since the Great Recession.

“Despite the apparent dynamism in the job market, people are not likely to change their current residence. The mobility rate is at a historic low of 9.8% annually. By comparison, 20% of Americans moved to a different home in any given year throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.

“One reason people are staying put is the upsurge in two-earner households, which complicates relocations. Still, Americans should get moving again. Behavioral studies suggest that leaving one’s comfort zone may help people do better economically and enjoy life more fully. I’d like to see a boost in people’s standard of living not from a 3% pay raise but in a bigger way. If people move from expensive regions of the country to more affordable ones, their opportunity to own a home increases greatly.

“Some consumers have gotten the message. That’s why metro areas like Austin, Denver, and Nashville have been booming as residents from higher-cost areas arrive. But these same cities are seeing slower job gains as they become less affordable. An adequate supply of new homes is needed to accommodate the new population. Clients looking for a bigger bang for their housing dollar should consider Charlotte, NC; Charleston, SC; Columbus, OH; or Las Vegas. It’s time to end the inertia.

MLS Games People Play

Here’s another interesting article from the latest “REALTOR®” magazine. Author is Graham Wood. I am sure that some of you have seen some of the listings mentioned in his write-up. The SanibelSusan Team doesn’t play these MLS games.

“David Weldon empathized with his client’s growing desperation to sell her home, a 3-bedroom house in South California’s Riverside County. But he was uncomfortable about her suggestion for boosting the listing’s appeal. The seller listed the home with Weldon last July at a list price of $600,000. After nearly 70 days on the market, the property hadn’t received an offer she would accept. She also was under contract to purchase another property contingent on the sale of her home, which added to the pressure. The seller asked Weldon, a broker-associate at ReMax One in Moreno Valley, CA, to take steps that sounded to him like “gaming the MLS” to draw more eyes to her listing and get it sold faster.

“She had learned from another agent in a prior transaction that there are ways to manipulate MLS data to the seller’s advantage. Loopholes in many MLS systems make it possible for real estate professionals to reset a property’s recorded days on market – making a listing appear newer than it is – or surface a home on an MLS’s “hot sheets” with, say, a $100 reduction in list price. While these practices can help raise the visibility of listings in the MLS, they’re also deceptive marketing techniques that have the effect of skewing real-time MLS data – a problem the real estate industry is working to solve – and cast a poor light on agent professionalism.

“”The MLS platform is not the tool to refresh a listing,” says Rene Galicia, director of MLS engagement at the National Association of REALTORS®. “You’re not treating the underlying issue – perhaps you need to revisit your pricing strategy, for example – if you’re relying on gaming the system to get action on your listing.”

“Weldon says it’s not uncommon for agents in his market to inappropriately cancel and resubmit a listing to the MLS with an inconsequential edit to the property address – such as changing “Street” to “St” – which resets days on market in the system. That’s the type of action his seller was requesting.

“”There’s no way to do what the seller was asking me to do that I’m comfortable with,” Weldon says. “I said, “You want me to cancel the contract and start over after I’ve put a considerable amount of time marketing your property.” When his client was unrelenting, Weldon decided to end his professional relationship with her. The seller relisted with another agent, and as of mid-January, the property had been on the market for 106 days – more than a month longer than Weldon had the home listed.

“While not necessarily a violation of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, these types of tactics may “work against the duty of honesty in Article 1, and the “true picture” mandate for all advertising, marketing, and other representations in Article 12,” says Rodney Gansha, NAR’s director of engagement and staff executive to the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee.

“Not all practitioners see it that way, though. “In some markets, people consider these practices to be wrong, while in other markets, it’s tolerated,” Gansho says. “Most agents can look up a property’s history to see exactly what’s changed or when it was first put on the market, so gaming the MLS is a limited strategy anyway.”

“Galicia takes particular exception to the idea of lowering a listing price by a minuscule amount to boost its standing on MLS hot sheets. “Most MLS technology will display the dollar amount of the price reduction, and savvy consumers can see that a $100 price drop is not a legitimate strategy,” he says. “If a listing shows up on a hot sheet all the time, that could be a sign of data manipulation rather than true changes to the terms of the listing itself.”

“Such a pricing strategy also could damage your reputation with other agents who find it offensive and could ultimately hurt your ability to find a buyer. “I’ve seen properties reduced by $1,” says Dan Halperin, GRI, an agent with Gagliardo Realty Associates in River Forest, IL. “It’s such a waste of everybody’s time. It irritates clients, and it doesn’t leave a good impression on the public.” Halperin adds that many of his buyers feel an urgency to be among the first to visit a new listing, so he keeps a watchful eye on turnover in the MLS. “I want to be able to tell my clients whether it’s been listed six times or had several price drops in the past,” he says. “I want them to know when it’s not the hot property they think it is.”

“So what’s a smarter approach? Instead of resorting to MLS gaming tactics, focus on professional listing photos from the start and adding virtual home tours and floor plans to listings in order to refresh them, Galicia recommends. Gansho encourages agents to revamp listing descriptions as a way to capture interest from people who may have previously overlooked your listing. These changes won’t appear on an MLS hot sheet, but sharper marketing may get buyers to pay closer attention.

“Heather Embrey, CRS, GRI, a sales associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Premier in Falls Church, VA, says she recently sold a 4-bedroom 2-bath listing, which had lingered on the market for 60 days, after updating the listing photos. Embrey’s seller was initially hesitant about staging the home, but when the sale stalled, the client agreed to change furnishings and add carpeting to neutralize the space.

“The new photos of the staged property enticed a buyer who previously viewed the home to give it a second look. The buyer ended up purchasing the home for the $499,500 list price. “In my office, they jokingly call me the compliance queen because I very much follow the rules,” Embrey says. “I’m not trying to reset days on market, I don’t change the address, and I don’t try and make it look like a new listing. There are too many other tools at my disposal for me to have to do that.”

The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate World

Adding SanibelSusan’s 2-cents worth to the above article: On the islands, there are some who end a stale listing and relist to make a property look like it is new to the market. That is not fooling anybody. Even Zillow sees through that.

Sanibel/Captiva’s real estate market is quite seasonal and easily affected by changes in the weather, the economy, and world events. Being mostly a resort and 2nd-home market, purchases often are made with discretionary income. That all equates to our market being UNLIKE the norm. It often takes longer to sell a property here unless it is one that is in demand at that time of the year or has special features setting it apart from its competition.

The best way to get a Sanibel/Captiva property sold remains listing with a top local agent in a reputable island brokerage, pricing right (and just under a $100K-price increment), solid continual ever-changing marketing with broad internet exposure and professional photography/streaming videos, honest reliable property details (Florida is a full-disclosure state), easy showing instructions, and good legal signage.

Today, there are 227 Realtor® members at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. I always want to be one of the top producers, though my goal is not necessarily to sell the most, but to provide the best service. Looking at Sanibel closed sales year-after-year, my position has lingered at #8 or #9, which makes me happy. I like being in the “top 10”.

It was a surprise to check and see that I am in 6th place based on the last 12 months of closed Sanibel sales. Probably more surprising is that of all these 200-some agents, over the last 12 months, only 60 sold more than one property and 29 sold only one. That means, that way more than half the membership had no sales. Real estate has always been a business where a small percentage of agents make most of the sales, but Sanibel and Captiva take those numbers to the extreme.

We also probably have the only grocery stores on the planet that remain fully equipped. No shortage of toilet paper and paper towels here, plus sunshiny blue skies, clear water, and very little traffic, except on the bike paths.

Be well, stay calm, fingers crossed that we soon are on the other side of the virus and its impacts.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 13-20, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #E8 2/1.5 $395K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $494K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $529K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 $599K.

8 price changes: Sundial #C301 1/1 now $464.9K, Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 now $534.9K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 now $610K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 now $799K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 now $799K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 now $899K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 now $999K (our listing) (photos below – taking a walk the gulf from Tarpon Beach), Sundial #K402 2/2 now $1.1499M.

5 new sales: Captains Walk #C3 1/1 listed at $279K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 listed at $548.5K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 listed at $549K, Sundial #L404 2/2 listed at $1.35M, Tigua Cay #485 3/3.5 listed at $2.195M.

4 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/1.5 $339K, Sunset South #2C 2/2 $555K, Sand Pointe #212 2/2 $725K, Gulfside Place #214 2/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 954 Donax St 3/3 $525K, 2480 Library Way 2/2.5 $649K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 $725K, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.095M.

3 price changes: 968 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex now $399K (our listing), 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex now $525K, 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $539K.

968 Greenwood Ct S highlighted – looking toward the lighthouse & the mainland, gulf & bay!

9 new sales: 1856 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed at $499K; 1813 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $629K; 760 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $649K; 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $685K; 701 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $712K; 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $799,999; 4739 Ruelle 4/3 listed at $995K; 1490 Angel Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.695M; 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 listed at $2.65M.

2 closed sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $698K, 675 Gopher Walk Way 3/2.5 $1.17M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1303 par View Dr now $314K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $190K.

Captiva

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Storing Up Vitamin SEA at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s Susan reporting that while the rest of the world has been spinning this week with news of viruses and politics, The SanibelSusan Team has kept their hands clean and stayed busy with real estate happenings. That pretty much stopped today – as we still are waiting for the phone to ring.

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday, it was a bit of a surprise to see such a small turnout at our Thursday morning Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting.

Usually March is one of our busiest months on island, so I prefer to think the absences were due to folks out showing property, and attending inspections and closings, rather than shopping for toilet paper and paper towels. After showing property last night until almost dark, I stopped at the Publix just off-island and witnessed some folks squabbling over some of their last rolls.

big arts logoIt was a full house of singers at our BIG ARTS Chorus rehearsal on Tuesday night, but since then I have received email notices that a couple of their events run by volunteers (Writers’ Read and Island Jazz) have been canceled for the rest of the season. As of now, the other BIG ARTS classes and performances are on schedule with the facility taking sanitary precautions. For up-to-date info, check their website at www.BIGARTS.org.

Here’s hoping world events do not hurt anyone too much and that real estate is back to a normal busy March soon. The week’s action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service is after a couple of news items below.

Oops, we were just noticed that the local Association of Realtors® has cancelled events and meetings for the next two weeks. Their office remains open, but classes will be held remotely and meetings done electronically.

Be well.

Bill Aimed at Battling Algae Blooms Headed to Governor

Florida Realtors logoPosted yesterday by FloridaRealtors® on-line and sourced to 2020 Journal Media Group, John Kennedy:

“The Florida Legislature passed a multi-faceted to curb the blue-green algae blooms in state waterways. It now only needs Gov. DeSantis’ signature to become law.

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Legislation aimed at easing the state’s wide-ranging water problems by tightening oversight of runoff from farms, urban development and Florida’s 2.7 million septic tanks was approved Wednesday by the House. The House’s 118-0 vote follows similar, 39-0 approval last week in the Senate. The measure now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who pushed for the changes and is expected to sign it into law.

““This is the most important thing we’ve done for water in this state in 10 years,” said Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, a sponsor of the legislation (SB 712), which supporters call the Clean Waterways Act. The legislation changes how the state regulates everything from septic tanks to city wastewater systems, and city and county storm-water management.

“But many environmental organizations say the regulatory changes lack muscle. The Sierra Club, Florida Springs Council and Florida Waterkeepers are among those pointing to problems with the legislation, saying it will not achieve water quality goals for the many state waterways already damaged. The organizations called it the, “policy equivalent of slapping a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. It may not hurt, but it won’t really help.”

State officials, though, have defended the measure with superlatives.

“Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein has called the measure a “massive step forward.” Rep. Toby Oberdorf, R-Stuart, House sponsor of the legislation, called the tighter regulations “game changers.” The legislation grew out of recommendations by the Blue-Green Algae Task Force appointed by DeSantis last year.

“DeSantis has pledged to spend $2.5 billion over four years to tackle Florida’s water problems, and lawmakers are poised to meet his demand for a $625 million, second-year installment in the state budget now being finalized by the Legislature. The waterways bill creates new regulations for agricultural use of fertilizers, requires farmers to keep records of their use, and requires these farms to be inspected every two years by state Agriculture Department officials to assure they’re complying with best management practices.

“The bill also shifts to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from the state’s Health Department regulation of the 2.7 million septic tanks dotting Florida. Thousands of these tanks are old, breaking down and leaking – earning them part of the blame for nutrients flowing into waterways and springs and adding to the algae woes. Among other changes, it would prove more difficult for companies to get permits for bottling spring water, while a state study of the practice and its effect also is ordered by the legislation. The legislation approved Friday by the Senate gives the governor more authority over appointing the state’s DEP secretary.

“Environmental groups, though, remained wary after Wednesday’s House action. “This bill is just not going to get us where we need to be,” said Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters.”

City Cracks Down on Unlicensed Rentals

Sanibelcityseal logoThere was another update on this subject by “Island Sun” reporter Wendy McMullen in the paper today:

“Sanibel City Council has eliminated annual rental license fees and made the rental fee for monthly rentals $300 and $100 for rentals not limited by city code such as those in the resort housing districts of Sanibel. These are mainly condominiums.

“The license fee for annual rental licenses is now zero. This includes the occupants of the 74 units in the Community Housing and Resources (CHR) below market rate housing program.

“The form to register also has been streamlined. It had been criticized in past meetings as being over intrusive and making property owners responsible for their tenants’ actions. It now only asks for the owner’s name, contact number and a local emergency contact but it still demands that the form be notarized.

“Meanwhile intensity increases on anyone renting a property without a license. Councilwoman Holly Smith said that the city was checking up on complaints regarding property owners renting their property illegally. “We have received a number of anonymous letters and we are following up on every one of them,” she reported at Tuesday’s planning commission meeting.

“Algorithms that sweep the world wide web for rentals on Sanibel are also used by the city to detect property owners renting without a license. Each advertisement will be cross checked for occupational licenses and if there is no license number on the advertisement, it will be red flagged. ”If they don’t have a license number, it will be immediately apparent,” said councilman Jason Maughan.

“The necessity for a license also extends to people sharing or exchanging their homes, according to Community Services Director Keith Williams. Both are currently considered rentals even if no actual funds are involved.

“Planning Commission Chair Chuck Ketterman questioned the definition of homes exchanging as rentals that required a license, observing that he knows of lot of people who exchange their homes for homes elsewhere in the country or in the world.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 6-13, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sand Pointe #223 2/2 $749K.

9 price changes: Colonnades #C3 1/1 now $271K, Sandpebble #4E 2/2 now $465K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $649.9K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $739K, Loggerhead Cay #514 2/2 now $995K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $1.075M, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 now $1.15M, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.25M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 now $2M.

8 new sales: Donax Village #10 1/2 listed at $358K, Seashells #36 2/2 listed at $380K, Sundial #D205 1/1 listed at $465K, Sanibel Arms West #B4 2/2 listed at $559K, Sand Pointe #132 2/2 listed at $709K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 listed at $770K, Sand Pointe #137 2/2 listed at $1.149M, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 listed at $1.195M (our listing & sale).

Sign

6 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #324 2/2 $569K, Lighthouse Point #114 3/2 $659K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 $725K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.1M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 $1.375M, La Playa #3B 3/2 $1.579M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $477K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $799K (our listing), 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 $849,948.

Canal

From the dock at 901 South Yachtsman Dr

901 South Yachtsman Dr intersecting canals in Sanibel Estates

14 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $459K, 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $544K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $559K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $575K, 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 6/2 now $699K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $739K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 now $772.5K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $825K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $850K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $899K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $1.097M, 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.35M, 924 Pecten Ct 4/4 now $1.475M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.195M.

7 new sales: 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $549K, 766 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $599K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $719K, 457 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $889K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 listed at $1.02M, 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 listed at $2.65M.

10 closed sales: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 $464K, 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 $537K (our listing), 1396 Tahiti Dr 4/3 $655K, 355 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 $675K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.1M, 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 $1.295M, 9019 Mockingbird Dr 4/4 $1.3M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.35M, 558 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $3.55M, 3757 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $5.5M.

Rear View d

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 255 Hurricane Ln now $369K, 3945 West Gulf Dr now $2.999M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $725K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 now $325K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2417 listed at $505K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1251 South Seas Plantation Rd 3/3 $2.25M, 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $12.5M.

No price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $2.65M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 $6.35M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan clean hands save lives