Sanibel Luminary 2017 Is About to Begin


11-24-2017 beach

Lake O releases are being reduced again starting today, but already one can see water quality improving.

 

 

It’s SanibelSusan posting her Friday island blog a little early today as it’s almost time to head out for the kick-off of Sanibel Luminary at The Sanibel Historical Village and Museum. The islands Community Chorus is singing from 4-4:45 p.m., followed by the Sanibel Band. Then at 5:30 p.m., the official Luminary Trail is lit with festivities until 9 p.m.

The islands already are twinkling with holiday lights and decorations, but it hardly feels like December weather. Yesterday it hit the mid-80’s, but it’s back into the high 70’s today.

More of the same is expected until the end of next week when a cold-front (Florida-style) is expected. (That means perhaps highs in only the 60’s next Thursday and Friday.)

This weekend, it looks like attendees can forget their ugly Christmas sweaters and go with “shorts’ for Sanibel’s Luminary tonight and Captiva’s tomorrow.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

In preparation, the island seems to have settled into a pre-Christmas mode this week. Little sales action was announced yesterday at the Thursday Realtor® Caravan meeting.

I was pleased to announce the quick sale of our new listing overlooking Dinkins Bayou on Harbour Lane and we had two of the properties on the 9 a.m. to noon Caravan that followed the meeting.

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

Upcoming Events

  • Elf Jr. The Musical – This comedy is running from now through Tues, Dec 5 at The Community House. The Community House theater is a unique space with the audience on three sides, you become part of the show. Creative Theater Workshop will also have auditions for Aladdin, Jr on Sat, Dec 2 at The Community House for youth ages 8 to 18. This show will feature workshops in stage combat, special effects, fencing/sword fighting, singing, dancing and acting. Audition sign-ups at www.CTW.Life.
  • Shell Harbor Boat Parade – This is a new event planned by the homeowners’ association to be held Sat Dec 16 with boats gathering at 5:30 p.m. and the parade starting shortly after. It will begin just outside Sanibel Harbour in San Carlos Bay and proceed down the main Shell Harbor canal before turning around in the Victoria Cove basin. Find more info at the Shell Harbor Property Owners Association Facebook page.

2017 Hurricane Season Has Ended – But Issues Linger

The following article from Tallahassee was posted yesterday on line at FloridaRealtors® and credited to Jim Turner of “News Service of Florida”.

“Thursday was the last day of the highly active, deadly and destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, but Floridians will feel its impact for years.The massive hit from Hurricane Irma caused direct physical and emotional impacts in Florida, and ripples continue to come ashore as thousands of people flee Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Politicians are scrambling to determine how much of the next state budget will be dedicated to covering losses that may or may not be paid by the federal government. They’re also looking at regulatory changes for nursing homes and debris-removal companies, as well as changes dealing with issues such as evacuation lanes, shelters and a potential state fuel reserve.

“Gov. Rick Scott, who was a visible face before and after Irma struck, said Monday that he’d like to boost the availability of propane for generators before the 2018 storm season. “You always learn something,” Scott said. “Everybody had generators. This last time we started running low on propane. I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. But everyone did a good job. Highway safety, we kept the fuel going.”

“Visit Florida spent $5 million to tell potential tourists that the state quickly reopened after Hurricane Irma, even as scars from the September storm remain etched across agricultural fields and the Florida Keys….

“Members of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness will meet Monday and discuss potential storm-related recommendations for the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Among the possibilities are legislation about housing, agriculture tax relief, hardening for emergency-operations centers and management of shelters.

National weather service logoMark Wool, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee office, called 2017 the busiest for the Atlantic since 2005.”We didn’t have any things working against tropical cyclone development like in recent years,” Wool said. “There was no El Nino in effect, which tends to suppress things. Didn’t see a lot of dust coming off Africa. We had a very warm ocean and the depth of the warm water was quite large. And all of those things tend to fuel development of a lot of storms.”

“Emergency management officials each year stress preparing for hurricanes. But Wool said the flatness of Florida requires additional vigilance by coastal communities against flooding, as the state is also experiencing a period of rising sea levels. “Parts of South Beach are flooding now without any storms. Blue skies, tidal flooding, the king tides,” Wool said. “We’ve seen times in the historic record where we’ve had large fluctuations in sea level, and we’re certainly on the upswing.”

“As of Nov. 13, more than 830,000 property owners across the state had filed claims for $5.88 billion in insured losses from Irma, which was one of four storms – Tropical Storm Emily, Irma, Hurricane Nate and Tropical Storm Philippe – that had a direct impact on the state during the six-month hurricane season.

Emily in early August made landfall on Anna Maria Island and quickly was downgraded to a tropical depression. Nate brushed the western Panhandle on Oct. 8 as the center of the storm came ashore near Biloxi, Miss. Philippe brought rain and couple of tornadoes to the southern part of the state as it made landfall Oct. 29 with 45 mph winds in Southwest Florida.

Hurricane irma map“Overall, there were 17 named storms this year. The most devastation came from Harvey’s Aug. 26 landfall in Texas, Irma’s double landfall and run-up of Florida starting Sept. 10, and Maria’s destruction of utilities and other infrastructure across Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. While spinning in the Atlantic, Irma reached maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, a pace it held for a record 37 consecutive-hours. Nate also set a record in October for the fastest forward motion recorded for a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We certainly did establish some records,” Wool said. “Harvey’s rainfall established a new rainfall record for one system in the United States. I think some areas had 60 inches of rains, which was phenomenal.”

“Irma also set new benchmarks for evacuees – an estimated 6.5 million people left their homes in advance of the storm – and power outages and restoration crews. Florida Power & Light, for example, reported 90% of its customers – about 10 million people – were without power on average 2.3 days.

“The agriculture industry has put a preliminary estimate of $2.5 billion on its losses from the storm.

However, Florida leaders have yet to convince the White House and Congress to include an estimated $761 million in losses to the citrus industry in a series of disaster-relief packages this year. State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam again implored Florida’s congressional delegation on Tuesday to support U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney’s proposal to add $1.5 billion for Florida’s agricultural industry to a $44 billion disaster-relief request sent to Congress on Nov. 17 by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

“While awaiting federal assistance, Scott authorized a $25 million interest-free loan program for citrus farmers.

“Visit Florida, meanwhile, directed $5 million from its tourism budget for a special post-Irma marketing campaign, and Scott has requested lawmakers boost Visit Florida’s marketing dollars from $75 million in the current year to $100 million because of the need to have post-disaster marketing money readily available.

“Despite the state saying tourism numbers continue to climb, hotels remain closed in parts of the Keys, where housing issues have grown for workers after Irma devastated a number of areas outside of Key West. The Islamorada Resort Company, which hired more than 500 construction workers to repair storm damage at four locations on the islands, is reopening the first of the four on Dec 15 and the second a month later….”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 24-December 1, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $299.5K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 $598K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 $649K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 $1.568M.

3 price changes: Seashells #40 2/2 now $349.9K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 now $599K, Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $799K.

4 new sales: Seashells #44 2/2 listed at $339K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 listed at $685K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 listed at $769K, Bougainvillea #A3 4/4 listed at $3.695M.

2 closed sales: Seashells #11 2/2 $331K, Nutmeg Village #100 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/3.5 half-duplex $414K; 5306 Ladyfinger Lake 3/2 $549K; 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $585K; 749 Cardium St 3/2 $769K; 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $799K; 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $799,999; 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $979K, 899 Almas Ct 3/2 $1.249M; 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $1.695M; 547 Kinzie island Ct 4/4.5 $1.789M.

6 price changes: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $572K, 1317 Par View Dr 3/3 now $629K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $750K, 932 Whelk 4/3 now $1.224M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.269M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex now $2.15M.

5 new sales: 915 Palm St 3/2 listed at $475K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $635K, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 listed at $649K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 listed at $749K (our listing), 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $2.15M, 4649 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 listed at $2.595M.

2 closed sales: 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.334M, 3547 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $3.9M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2460 Library Way $349K.

1 price change: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $59K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2212 1/1 $530K.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 now $525K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 $1.449M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Wishing you fair weather & a great weekend too! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

SanCap Aerial 11-29-2017 Jim Szabo

Photo posted on Facebook by Jim Sazbo SanCap Aerials

Post Thanksgiving 2017 on Sanibel & Captiva


Sanibel River Estates Beach access

Sanibel River Estates beach access path

 

 

 

 

It’s SusanSusan flying solo at SanibelSusan Realty today as the rest of the team enjoys an extended holiday. I hope that you and yours also are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Again, all week, island weather has been grand. Delightful temperatures and breezes have made it excellent for enjoying the beach, boating, biking, shelling, and more. Showers were forecast both yesterday and today, but so far, the only rain has been a couple of brief showers yesterday. A few more are expected in the morning, followed by more sunny days with temperatures in the 70’s all of next week.

The islands are busy, so it’s the time of the year when it pays to plan your trips and check the City traffic cams at http://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams)

1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges

MidIRALogoREVOver the last 25+years, many SanibelSusan Realty clients have performed 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, most under the guidance of Dave Owens. Time flies, but those exchanges continue to be popular, so here’s a repeat of his recent company announcement. Congratulations on your recent company anniversary, Dave Owens!\

“Midland 1031 is celebrating 20 years in business this month. Formerly known as 1031 Tax-Free Strategies, Midland has performed thousands of tax-free exchanges all over the United States since the fall of 1997. Midland 1031 was formed in 1997 by Dave Owens, a CPA who had a firm on Sanibel Island. When Owens first started his company, they performed 47 exchanges during its first full year of operation.  The company grew rapidly throughout the years and hit the 1,000 exchanges per year mark for the first time in 2005.  Currently in 2017, the company has surpassed the 1,000 exchanges a year mark, showing solid growth and continues to be an educational and service leader in the real estate community.

“A 1031 tax-deferred exchange allows real estate investors to defer federal and state taxes on the sale of investment real estate as long as proceeds are reinvested into additional investment real estate of equal or greater value, as well as following the IRS 45-day and 180-day timing rules.  There is no other deferral in the federal tax code like section 1031.  The proposed Republican tax law changes does not change the current 1031 rules.

“When asked about how he feels as he looks back over the last 20 years, Owens comments: “I am really proud of the job we have done helping real estate investors save millions of dollars in taxes.  With the help of Senior Manager Theresa Knower, we have helped thousands of investors navigate through the process of exchanges, start to finish, and have earned the reputation as the gold standard among Qualified Intermediaries”.  Knower is a veteran in the industry, speaking both locally and nationally on the topic of 1031 exchanges as well as working directly with her staff to complete exchanges.

“Of the 108 Certified Exchange Specialists in the entire country and eight in the state of Florida, two of them are with Midland 1031; Owens and Knower both hold their Certified Exchange Specialists certifications. They are among the most knowledgeable, experienced exchange specialists anywhere.

“Midland 1031 is proud to be serving not only the local community but also nationwide investors for the last 20 years. Learn more about Midland 1031 and 1031 exchanges by visiting Midland1031.com.”

Upcoming Events

Sanibel Masters Art Festival – today & tomorrow (Sat, Nov 25) at The Sanibel Community House 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

lionslogoLions Charity Christmas Tree Sales – begin tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bailey’s Shopping Center.

5th Annual Happy Hour Holiday Shopping at ‘Ding’ Darling – Wed, Nov 29 at the Refuge Nature Center Store where the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society Friends of the Refuge will keep the store open until 7 p.m. Last year, my purchases included ornaments, stocking stuffers, caps, and toys. They have Luc Century items too.ding darling goose logo

Sanibel & Captiva Luminary – As soon as Thanksgiving weekend is over, the islands jump right into Christmas holiday mode. Sanibel Luminary, always the first Friday in Dec, is next week, Dec 1, followed by Captiva Luminary on Sat, Dec 2.

museum-luminary-2015The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village kicks off luminary this year with a step back in time. Called “A Sanibel 60’s Christmas, Change is on the Way”, this year’s afternoon event focuses on the causeway which opened in 1963 and the changes that followed. The event is free from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the village grounds with lots of 60’s memorabilia displayed.

From 4 to 4:45 p.m., the BIG ARTS Chorus will perform (you-know-who is in the alto section). The Brass Ensemble follows them from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.

After that, the shops and businesses up and down Periwinkle will be open late. Follow the lighted luminaries along the bike path. It’s magical.

Celebration of 100th Anniversary of 1st Blind Pass Bridge – Jan 31, Wed. The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is joining with the Captiva Island Historical Society to present “Blind Pass: The Bridge That Connects” at South Seas Island Resort. The multi-media program will present a history of the three Blind Pass bridges – and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first bridge, a renowned fishing destination – along with stories of the Santiva community and some of its characters, and the shifting waterway that comprises Blind Pass. The event is free, but reservations are required, due to limited seating. Make your reservation by phone (230-472-2323), email (mail@captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org) or the link below:

http://www.captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org/events/upcoming-events/blind-pass-bridge-connects

More Focus on Water Quality & Conservation

If you are familiar with the organization START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide), here’s some news reported this week in the Sanibel-Captiva “Islander”:

“Coastal Keepers, a business reorganization of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, has rebranded to focus on water quality and ocean conservation as well as red tide. “This is the START you know, but really improved and really focused on our islands,” President Dr. Bruce Neil said. “We are forming a local partnership that makes more sense for everyone. We are trying to be more sufficient, so donated support goes more to the cause and less to the machine behind the cause. It’s a tried and proven local organization that has a new name.”

“He said START is a not-for-profit organization based in Sarasota that has subchapters, which included a Sanibel-Captiva chapter for at least 10 years. “The state organization of START seems to be contracting and really the Sanibel Captiva chapter of START was really driving the whole state,” he said. “We debated this for a long time and decided why don’t we go off on our own and make our own thing on Sanibel. As a conservation organization, we very much believe that we ought to have this lean business aspect as possible, so that we can spend more money on conservation. We realized our very best Sanibel Sea Schoolway to trim down the business is to partner with the Sanibel Sea School.”

Over the years, Neil said it has become hard to dedicate an organization to red tide because when there is a bloom everyone wants to know the solution, comparted to the years when it is not present the money and interest disappears. ”We changed the mission of Coastal Keepers to more of a water quality and ocean conservation institution in general, in addition to red tide,” Neil said, adding the mission is “to create conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources, and coastal heritage.”…

“Coastal Keepers’ vision is “a community that perpetuates a coastal legacy for future generations. “There is a lot more we can do in our own backyard to enrich our community, to try to conserve and help our heritage move forward on a very local scale that are really for the most part limited to Sanibel and Captiva,” Neil said….

“The annual event held by START, Cracker Fest, has been renamed to The Launch and will be held on March 28. The location will be announced in the near future. With the reorganization, all the money raised during the fundraiser will stay on the islands.”

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Breaks Records

LCVCB logo

In Lee County, tourism employs one out of every five people. Approximately 4.8 million visitors arrive each year and generate about $3 billion in economic impact. Domestic travel showed the greatest increase in visitation, including the Midwest region which generated the largest share of visitors. One-fifth of paid accommodations visitors came from international markets.

Tourist tax revenue – also known as the bed tax – is a 5% tax that funds three countywide functions: destination marketing; beach and shoreline re-nourishment, maintenance and enhancement projects; and stadium debt service and major maintenance by Lee County’s spring training facilities. The countywide tax is authorized by Florida Statute 125.0104 to increase tourist-related business activities in Lee County.

New Website at Captiva Island Historical Society

With a new contemporary design and info on upcoming events and a link to thousands of archived items, check it out at http://www.captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 17-24, 2017

sancap GO MLS logo

CONDOS

6 new listings: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $249.8K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 $495K, Nutmeg Village #208 2/2 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $759K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 $1.0399M, Sanibel Seaview #C2 3/3 $1.15M.

2 price changes: High Tide #C101 2/2 now $979K, High Tide #C201 2/2 now $1.045M.

2 new sales: Sundial West #B108 1/1 listed at $469K, Nutmeg Village #109 2/2 listed at $689K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #E3 2/2 $370K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $443K (our listing), Blind Pass #F108 3/2 $568.3K, Sandpiper Beach #501 2/2 $690K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $635K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 $649K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 $639K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $749K (our listing) (photos below), 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $924K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 $1.295M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 $1.599M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.195M.

20171122_103357

20171122_105623

20171122_103656

7 price changes: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 now $599K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $633K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now $824.5K, 1314 Par View Dr 3/2 now $825K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $949K, 1730 Jewel Box Dr 4/3 now $1.695M, 514 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $1.945M.

3 new sales: 714 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $609K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 listed at $639K, 4155 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $4.295M.

No closed sales:

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5633 Baltusrol Ct now $349K.

1 new sale: 1299 Par View Dr listed at $241.5K.

No closed sales.

 

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $750K.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 listed at $298K, Tennis Villas #3223 1/1 listed at $305K, Lands End Village #1660 3/3 listed at $1.625M.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Weekend Weather Forecast in Degrees F – Saturday 75 & Sunday 79 – WhoooHooo


SanibelSusan is back at her post this week where it is always great to get home and back to business even after a wonderful fun-filled vacation. Island traffic is noticeably heavier now than it was three weeks ago, while the weather remains mostly the same – sunny and picture perfect, unlike those nasty photos we are seeing on the news with snow and cold weather elsewhere.

Now through Easter is always a great time to be enjoying winter in Southwest Florida. I had lunch today with a colleague in the vacation rental business and he said that their phones are ringing off the hook with folks looking for last-minute holiday reservations.

Our listings had a few showings this week and our local Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan meetings have changed to the “season” schedule of every week. Following a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

On teammate David’s travels this week he took the following bird photos. I thought you might enjoy them too – from osprey to sandpiper to eagle. (Bet you notice the mono-filament line wrapped around the osprey too. It’s a good reminder to always be careful with that stuff.)

osprey fishing line

 

Sandpiper

Eagle

On the real estate front, the number of units available still is down, though business is picking up, albeit is slowly. Homes and larger-sized condos continue to be in most demand. All indications are that it will be a terrific winter with prices continuing to rebound – we sure hope so!

Island Sales Stat Summary

Sanibel                         Condos                        Homes                         Lots

                                     #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price

For sale                        112      708,608           149      1,308,066         90        503,335

Closings pending         16        634,519           21         948,452           5          305,180

2014 sold thru 11/12    145      661,379           183      823,155           22         453,957

2013                             161      573,557           197      910,321           26         416,502

2012                             151      551,244           183      823,598           33         487,687

Upcoming Island Events

Shell MuseumNov 16 – tomorrow – Sat – 19th Birthday The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum – so free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.shellmuseum.org

taste of the island logo_2014Nov 16 – Sun – 33rd Annual “Taste of the Islands” at The Dunes from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. (postponed from last week)

BIG Arts logoNov 21 – Fri – BIG ARTS Strauss Theater reopens for the 2014/2015 season with “Divas” which includes hits by some of the most successful female vocalists including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, & Whitney Houston. “Divas” runs until Dec 4, www.bigarts.org/theater

Sanibel Community HouseNov 23 – Sun – Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House at 6:45 p.m. The BIG ARTS Community Chorus (& your favorite (I hope) alto) will be performing.

Luminary SantaDec 5 – Fri – 30th Annual Sanibel Luminary from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. (rumor has it that there will be another flash mob at Bailey’s this year)

Dec 6 – Sat – Captiva Luminary from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Captiva Boat paradeDec 13 – Sat – Captiva Holiday Village 5th Annual Lighted Boat Parade at 6 p.m.

 

 

It’s Final: News Corp Acquires Realtor.com®

Realtor.com logosToday’s announcement from “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“Media giant News Corp has officially completed its acquisition of Move, Inc., firming up its stake in the online real estate arena and tying its name to the REALTOR® brand. Move, Inc. is a leading provider of online real estate services and the operator of realtor.com®. News Corp says the merger will extend the media company’s global and digital operations as well as “bolster the real estate pillar of its business.”

“In partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® and its one million members, we look forward to turbo-charging realtor.com® and making it the most popular and profitable property site in America,” Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said in a statement.

“News Corp, a media and publishing business of which Rupert Murdoch serves as the executive chairman, owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. It also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website. The Move network of websites reaches more than 30 million online visitors per month.

““We provide people with the information, tools and professional expertise they need to make the best and most informed real estate decisions, and we work to uphold the indispensable role of the professional in the real estate experience,” Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move, told REALTOR® Magazine in late September after the merger was announced.   “News Corp shares our vision, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such good news for our customers, consumers, and the industry as a whole.”

“National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron praised the deal.  “The National Association of REALTORS® is excited about NewsCorp’s successful acquisition of Move, Inc.,” Polychron said in a statement released this morning. “REALTORS® are about making consumers’ real estate dreams a reality, and the unique strengths of News Corp, Move, and our REALTOR® members will enhance our ability to do that. NAR looks forward to its new partnership with News Corp and is committed to working with both companies to seek and develop new opportunities that help REALTORS® and consumers flourish in today’s real estate marketplace.””

The Next Big Home Feature Buyers Want?

Here’s some info from Wednesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on-line:

houses-clipartfree-christian-clip-art--image-of-a-house-a-home---cropped-image-xoshp3ls“Home owners are showing a bigger appetite for smart home technology. Nearly half of consumers — 46% — say it’s important their current home or the next home they purchase have smart home technology, according to a survey conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV of nearly 2,500 consumers who recently participated in an HGTV national focus group on smart home technology.

“Home owners and buyers say they see the value in smart home technology for comfort, safety, and cost savings, and 51% surveyed say they would consider installing smart home technology in their home to make their home more marketable to future home buyers.

“The younger segment of the millennial generation is the most likely age group to spend money on smart home technology — 10 times more likely than the percentage of generation X members who say they’d consider adding smart home technology to their homes, the survey reported. “While still a growing trend, smart home enhancements have the potential to increase savings, safety, and resale value,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “As we have seen through this survey and our one-on-one interactions with buyers and sellers, a smart home is one that is well positioned for the future and aligns with a growing reliance on mobile technology.”

“Indeed, 70% of millennials say it’s important that smart home technology integrate with their smartphone.

While smart home technology has often been thought to be driven by mainly security, survey researchers did not find security as the main motivation for adding smart home technology. Instead, home owners say they’re using or wanting smart home technology mainly because of the money-saving potential, such as through automated climate control, energy management, remote home monitoring, and lighting control systems. What’s more, consumers of all generations said they’d automate their thermostats before their lighting or security systems, and one in 10 Americans say they’d automate their TV over their lighting or security systems.”

Life Doesn’t Rise or Fall With Interest Rates

realtor logoAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, here is his article from the November “Realtor®Mag”:

“Housing market can weather the effects of expected mortgage spikes.

“Mortgage rates haven’t budged, remaining at historic lows throughout the year amid economic growth that has generated 2.5 million net new jobs over the past 12 months and a record high stock market. But uncertainty looms in light of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s announcement that the economic stimulus program known as “quantitative easing” will halt by year’s end. Moreover, an increase in the short-term Fed funds rate is expected by the middle of 2015. The course of U.S. monetary policy, in short, will be less accommodating going forward.

“In the meantime, perhaps because of geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Ukraine, or because of weaker economic conditions in Europe, a plentiful amount of money has flowed into the safe U.S. bond market, thereby holding interest rates down. Inflation has been low so far, too, rising only by 2%, another factor behind the low rates.

“Sooner or later, though, interest rates will have to rise. From the low 4% rate that prevailed for most of this year, the average mortgage rate will likely cross over the 5% threshold sometime in 2015 and probably rise to near 6% by 2016. Such a change makes homes less affordable, a clear negative for residential sales. But job creation and the accompanying rise in consumer confidence, along with some loosening of underwriting standards, might more than compensate for the rising rates.

“But what will be the impact on home owners who have locked in super low rates? How resistant will they be to giving those up? That’s something we’ll be tracking. But if past behavior is a guide, most home owners won’t stay put just to hang onto a low mortgage rate.

“Our own research supports this. Nearly half of recent buyers indicated the desire to have a different-sized home or live in a different neighborhood as the key reason for moving. Having kids and selecting a school district they like makes people move. Another third of recent movers cited changes in a job or ­marital status. Retirement was a factor for ­others. Only 3% mentioned changes in mortgage costs as a reason for moving.

“Low interest-rate lock-ins seem to matter far less than life cycle events. Even as rates move up, life moves on.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 7-14

Sanibel
CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 $379K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $520K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $795K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 $895K.

4 price changes: Colonnades #51 1/1 now $179K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $459K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 now $694K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $849K.

3 new sale: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #301 2/2 listed for $449K, Sayana #103 2/2 listed for $715K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 $314K, Pointe Santo #B45 2/2 $710K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 548 Chert Ct 2/2 $585K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $589K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 now $649.9K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.589M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 now $4.395M.

2 new sales: 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 4/3 listed for $829K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $999.9K.

1 closed sale: 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $975K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 707 Emeril Ct $319K; 5633 Baltusrol Ct $349,555; 4334 West Gulf Dr $959,959.

3 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $335K, 6486 Pine Ave now $399.9K (foreclosure), 4988 Joewood Dr now $529K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 listed for $309K.

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.

Whether selling or buying, please call The SanibelSusan Team.

Susan, David, Elise, and Lisa are island experts and ready to help you!

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