Woohoo, Tonight Is Sanibel Luminary


It is another happy Friday with holiday news from SanibelSusan. Tonight, being Sanibel Luminary, the island already is sparkling with lights and trimmings. With daytime temperatures this week in the 60’s and 70’s, perhaps it will be cool enough tonight to wear Christmas sweaters. It is always fun to see the luminary trail filled with folks in those, and shorts with flip flops. The luminary trail will be lit from 5:30 to 9 p.m., from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other.

Midweek, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, at Sanibel’s Community Park, we watched as City employees finalized decorations on the bike path there. The display begins with an archway at the playground entrance next to the Community House. Guarded by a nutcracker soldier, the delightful display continues through a tunnel of lights, ending with a “photo op” banner and bench which will be staffed tonight by City lifeguards and Recreation Department staff.

When I told the team that I thought they were installing life-size mechanical snowmen, teammates Dave and Elise corrected me saying these snowmen had faces and were really bending over and moving. Then, later when City Manager Judie Zimomra posted on social media about this upcoming photo op event and I shared my snowman story, she also corrected me – saying they really are snow-women.

Yesterday afternoon the display expanded when an igloo appeared – made by teens in the City’s Rec Center after school program – and using empty water jugs. According to a City post, it contains 422 1-gallon plastic jugs, 24 half-gallon jugs. It took a month to collect the jugs and about 18 hours to construct with 285 glue sticks. It’s 5’2” high and weights just over 42 pounds. Thanks to our City Manager for sharing her photos!

If you are in the neighborhood tonight, stop in and get your picture taken with the igloo which is framed by two blow-up snowmen. It and the live Sanibel snow-gals will be at the bench at the tunnel’s end until 9 p.m.

Looking for other holiday festivities? Info about a few more posted below, followed by some other island news and our weekly reports of the action with our listings and as posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Holiday Festivities, Shopping, & Helpers

  • 35th Annual Sanibel Holiday Luminary Stroll – From one end of Periwinkle to the other, tonight until 9 p.m. At 6 p.m. SanibelSusan and other BIG ARTS Chorus pals will be singing Christmas carols inside Bailey’s General Store. Come and join us! Sanibel Luminary Update from the City’s website: (mySanibel.com): This year there will be designated “Walk Your Bike” zones in the traditionally high traffic portions of the Shared Use Path.  ALL path users, pedestrians and cyclists, are reminded that all users should wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a light such as a flashlight at Luminary.  Please use caution and common sense at the event, including only crossing the road at designated crosswalks and carefully following all instructions of on-site law enforcement. The Sanibel Chief of Police reminds all cyclists that Florida’s bicycle law requires any bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500’ to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600’ to the rear.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Lions Christmas Tree Salenext to Island Cinema at the Bailey’s Center, Wed through Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., selling Michigan Fraser firs from 5’-10’, wreaths, & stands.
  • 10th Annual Golf Cart Parade Followed by 35th Annual Captiva Holiday Luminary Stroll – tomorrow, Saturday, 12/7. Golf cart parade beginning at 2 p.m. near the entrance of South Seas Island Resort. Judging at 2:30 p.m., then parade begins at 3:30 p.m., followed by luminary from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
  • South Seas Holiday Stroll – at the resort’s Yacht Harbour Marina & north end, Fri & Sat nights, 12/6 & 7, 12/13 & 14, 12/20 & 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring “ice” skating, entertainment, arts & crafts, treats, & more. Complimentary to resort guests, public entry with $10 donation to benefit Captains for Clean Water, children under 12 free. More info at SouthSeas.com
  • BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert – Tues, 12/10 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church as the new BIG ARTS performance hall is under construction. Tickets ($12, with children under 12 free) at the door or on-line at BIGARTS.org.
  • Art Under the Stars – Thur, 12/12 from 5 p.m. a collaboration between Hirdie-Girdie Gallery (2490 Library Way), Tower Gallery (751 Tarpon Bay Rd) & Suncatcher’s Dream (630 Tarpon Bay Rd, #2)
  • Captiva’s First Ever Blues on the Beach – Sat, 12/14 at 15951 Captiva Dr from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets on-line ($15) at Tween-Waters.com/shop or at the door ($20).
  • Friends Who CareRemember last month when island Realtors® collected toys and gift cards at their annual “Fall Into Christmas” event? These donations go to Friends Who Care who coordinates the annual Santa Run which delivers the gifts to needy island children and seniors on Dec 23. If you are available to help sort and wrap the many donations, sorting day is at The Community House on Wed 12/18 at 2 p.m., followed by wrapping on Thu 12/19 at 9 a.m. Adult volunteers are needed, please bring your own scissors on wrapping day.

Real Estate Happenings

Usually the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy with holiday preparations, but it also can be a good time for real estate. Just ten new listings were open for Realtor® Caravan yesterday morning, but Dave and Lisa were both out showing Captiva property yesterday afternoon and I have a full line-up of Sanibel homes and condos to show on Saturday. I always remind myself about the time I sold a house on Christmas Day. Sometimes the hype of the season helps spark the sale.

Sanibel Scoop

  • New Location for Center-4-Life – At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel City Council voted to purchase the commercial property at 2475 Library Way (currently Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank). It will be the future home of the City’s new Center-4-Life facility. More and updated space is needed for the expanded Island Seniors membership, programs, and activities. The sale is expected to finalize before the end of the year.
  • SCCF & Sanibel Sea School Join Forces – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Sanibel Sea School will begin 2020 as a united force to better conserve the coastal ecosystems. As announced this week, starting January 1, the Sanibel Sea School will become SCCF’s education department. The two organizations will become a single nonprofit with Dr. Bruce Neill of the Sea School becoming SCCF’s director of education. SCCF currently is renovating its former Nature Center on Sanibel-Captiva Rd into an education hub with an auditorium that will feature presentations and displays on SCCF’s varied programs. Coastal Watch, an island-based advocacy arm of the Sanibel Sea School, also will become part of SCCF. Dr Neill summed it up nicely, saying, “We can best support nature and serve our community with a single unified voice, broadcast across multiple wavelengths, to promote nature resources conservation.”

Changes at Island Eats

  • Cielo – was remodeled and renamed this summer (formerly Il Cielo). It reopened this week at 1244 Periwinkle Way with a new bar room featuring small plates and exotic drinks. More info at https://cielo-sanibel.com .
  • Sanibel Chocolate Shop & Patisserie – in the former location of Pinocchio’s at 362 Periwinkle Way, open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving artisan sandwiches & fresh baked pastries, muffins, crumb cake, croissants, and quiche. Also, Norman Love confections and homemade ice cream.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 29-December 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #311 2/2 $599K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #114 3/2 $679K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $995K, Sunward of Sanibel #201 3/2 $1.35M.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $585K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $679K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $609,906.

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-1 2/2.5 listed at $754.5K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #H307 1/1 $412.5K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 $489K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.425M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 half-duplex $499K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $665K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 3/3 $729K, 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $879K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 $949K, 2569 Coconut Dr 3/2 $989K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $995K.

10 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $491.5K; 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 now $575K; 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $589,995; 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $595K; 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $699K; 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $745K; 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $799K; 5835 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $844.5K; 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 now $875K; 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $879K.

5 new sale: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 listed at $475K; 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed at $519K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $729K; 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $719,007; 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $799K

1 closed sale: 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2002 Wild Lime Dr $319K; 0 Dixie Beach Blvd $525,555; 6419 Pine Ave $889K.

2 price changes: 2279 Wulfert Rd now $318K, 3945 West Gulf Dr now $3.495M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 898 Rabbit Rd $160K (our listing & sale).

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3137 2/2 $474K, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.245M.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $505K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.285M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

4 price changes: 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.3M, 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $1.995M, 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 now $2.6M, 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $4.595M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 11525 Murmound Ln now $795K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 13470 Palmflower Ln $1.375M.

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, may your holiday festivities also be fun!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Another Sunny Friday at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s another happy Friday, time for SanibelSusan’s weekly island report. After an overcast chilly weekend, those who complained that summer weather dragged on too long this year, were suddenly surprised with a day that didn’t get out of the 60’s (that was Sunday). Thankfully, the sun came out Monday morning as it warmed up to 71. Daytime temperatures stayed in the 70’s much of the week, which is below the islands’ November average which is 80 degrees F. Temperatures are expected to be back to the norm next week for the holiday, with Thanksgiving Day currently forecast to be a sunny 82 degrees F.

When the sun is out, the roads and bike paths continue to fill up with visitors. For those asking about upcoming holiday events and where they can get their Thanksgiving dinner, below is that info, followed by a couple of news items and a report of the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

The SanibelSusan Team wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Business is good. We are thankful for that and also ready for anyone looking for real estate here next week. The only day the office is officially closed is Thursday.

Upcoming Events

  • 18th Annual Community Thanksgiving Celebration – Sunday, Nov 24 at 6:30 p.m. at The Community House, with island-wide representation. Open to all, with food and monetary donations to benefit. F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva. Program participants will include representatives from local churches, City government, and BIG ARTS Community Chorus singers. See you there!
  • ‘Tween Waters Annual Tree Lighting Celebration – next Friday, Nov 29, from noon until 8 p.m.

Where On-Island to Dine or Get Fixin’s on Thanksgiving Day

The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce posts a list of establishments that are open and closed on Thanksgiving Day. Rather than provide the long list including those closed, below is their list abbreviated with just those open on Thanksgiving.

BUSINESS OPEN/CLOSED COMMENTS PHONE
Bailey’s General Store 7 am -12 pm (239) 472 1516
Bleu Rendez Vous French Bistro 5 – 8 pm Reservations only (239) 565 1608
Bubble Room 11:30 am – 3 pm

& 4:30 pm – 8 pm

Recommend Reservations (239) 472 5558
Captiva House 12 – 8 pm Buffet, reservations only (239) 472 5161 (#4)
Crow’s Nest 4 – 8 pm (239) 472 5161 (#4)
Dairy Queen 11 am – 8 pm (239) 472 1170
Dante’s Pizza 5 – 10 pm (239) 558 4429
Doc Ford’s – Captiva 11 am -10 pm (239) 312 4275
George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille 5 – 10 pm (239) 395 1263
Geppetto’s 8 am -10 pm (239) 472 6566
Gramma Dot’s 11:15 am – 8 pm (239) 472 8138
Huxter’s Market & Deli 6:30 am – 10 pm (239) 472 6988
Island Cow 7 am – 8 pm (239) 472 0606
Jerry’s Food Store 6 am – 3 pm (239) 472 9300
Jerry’s Restaurant 6 am – 12 pm (239) 472 9300
Keylime Bistro 8 am – 10 pm (239) 395 4000
Lighthouse Cafe 7 am – 2 pm (239) 472 0303
Normandie (West Wind Inn) 8 am – 2:30 pm &

4:30 pm – 7 pm

(239) 472 1541
Pecking Order Order pick up til noon (239) 472 2534
Pinocchio’s Ice Cream 8 am – 10 pm (239) 472 6566
RC Otter’s 8 am – 6 pm (239) 395 1142
Sand Dollar 8 – 11 am & 5 – 10 pm Buffet 8-11, Dinner 5-10 (239) 395 4101
Sanibel Cafe 7 am – 2 pm (239) 472 5323
Sanibel Grill 4 – 10 pm (239) 472 3128
Schnapper’s 11 am – 4 pm (239) 472 8686
Sea Breeze Cafe 7 – 11 am (239) 395 6017
Sunshine Seafood Cafe 4 – 9 pm (239) 472 6200
Thistle Lodge 11 am – 7 pm Buffet, Reservations (239) 472 9200
Timbers 4 – 8 pm (239) 472 3128
Traditions (Island Inn) 4 – 9 pm (239) 472 4559

 

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® November Membership Meeting

At the local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, breakfast sponsor, J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Executive Director Birgie Miller told us about the recent National Fish and Wildlife Foundation award of a $5.309-million grant to the Refuge for restoring their newly-acquired 68-acre Wulfert Bayous area. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge partnered with them for a grant from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to restore bird population affected by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Grant monies will enhance this wetland habitat for roosting and nesting birds to attract species impacted by the spill, including roseate spoonbills, white ibises, brown pelicans, wood storks, and many egret/heron species.

Event speaker was Phillip G. Flood, Jr, Principal Regional Representative at the South Florida Water Management District. He updated us on the many water restoration projects underway in an area known as one of the world’s largest water management systems. It spans 16 counties, 18,000 square miles, with 8.1 million residents, 2,100 miles of canals, 2,100 miles of levees and berms, 600 water control structures, 625 project culverts, 70 pump stations, and 3,500 hydrological monitoring stations. With 23 multi-year projects underway, it may be several years before significant results are noticed here. The C-43 storage reservoir project is one of the projects closest to the islands. It is spread over 10,500 acres and divided into two reservoir cells and two pump stations. Though he complimented Sanibel for being proactive with its efforts to prevent pollution and overdevelopment, he acknowledged that the rest of the state needs to follow suit.

During the Caravan announcement segment of the meeting, only a handful of new sales and price reductions were mentioned. It’s the time of the year when the norm is more new listings. Our new listing at Lighthouse Point #211 was open for the Open House caravan that followed. (Some Lighthouse Point photos below.)

Gene’s Books

A couple of years ago, when Gene, from Gene’s Books was looking for a spot for a second store, it was teammate Dave that helped make it happen. Now both of Gene’s stores are open, the original at 2365 Periwinkle opposite Palm Ridge Rd and the new one, up and across the street at 2422 Periwinkle Way (formerly a shell shop). Book aficionados love Gene and his stores. Many a client has said, “if you need a book, Gene will find it.” Nice to see him recognized in the below article posted last week, Nov 13, 2019, at “Forbes” on-line by Travel Contributor Wendy Altschuler:

“Here Are The Best Bookshops In America For Bibliophiles – If you’ve ever lost track of the sunlight, because you were fused to a cushioned chair with a titillating title in your hand, then raise your proverbial glass in the air and celebrate the hospitable bookshop that allowed you to read for hours on end, uninterrupted. Spending time in bookstores is especially easy when the environment is welcoming, and the space is unique. Take one step inside Shakespeare and Company in Paris, Livaria Lello in Portugal, or Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice to understand the sentiment.

“America also has some pretty impressive bookstores, guilty of housing bookish fugitives. Read on to discover the most unique havens for bibliophiles because, after all, isn’t holding the binding of an actual book, where you can smell the pages and let the hardcover rest on your chest when you pause to ponder, better than the digital alternative?

            “Chicago: Women and Children First – Feminist bookstores in America are few and far between and Chicago’s Women and Children First is one of the largest feminist bookstores around, housing more than 30,000 titles by and about women. Visiting authors, book groups, and story time for children events have made this bookseller a staple in the Andersonville neighborhood.

            “Seattle: Secret Garden Books – It’s not easy to keep an independent bookstore up and running, especially with heavy competition online, however there are a number of booksellers that have managed to thrive for many years in The Emerald City. University Book Store, Eagle Harbor Book Co., and Island Books are community stalwarts. Secret Garden Books is also a standout because for over forty years, they have been dedicated to promoting literacy for children. After all, getting younger generations to develop a love of reading contributes to the success of an independent bookstore, decade after decade

Denver: Tattered Cover Book Store –Tattered Cover has been around since 1971 and even though it’s a relatively large independent book store, it still maintains that cozy lose-yourself-in-a-chair feel that bookworms crave. Chances are, if you have a favorite author on a book tour, you’ll be able to get your book signed and hear them read here. You can relish the experience at four different locations, including one inside of Union Station, and if you must go online, check out their Indie Next List for new titles.

San Francisco: City Lights Booksellers and Publishers – San Francisco is such a lovely walkable city, full of sensory delights, and a trip to City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, a landmark located on the edge of China Town, will not disappoint book lovers. Political and poetry books have long been the bread and butter of City Lights and the publishing arm still produces titles to this day. Beatniks, free thinkers, and artists were the clientele of the 50’s and it would appear that little has changed even to this day. City Lights co-founder and poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who turned 100 in March 2019, made headlines for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems in 1956, which was part of an obscenity trial. He faced jail time and a fine in order to endorse free speech. This bookshop is all about creating an indelible space for open minded readers, thinkers, and speakers.

            “Gene’s Books, Florida – There’s something about seeing stacks of books everywhere, lining the walls, topping each surface, stored in every nook and cranny, that creates a lived-in feel. Gene’s Books on Periwinkle Way in Sanibel, Florida, is such a place. The popularity of this gem has created a need for expansion—there’s a second building across the street. Both locations have a large selection of Florida-specific titles and visitors can often get discounts or receive free books.

“Visiting independent bookstores, anywhere across America, gives us the opportunity to learn about diverse communities and local vibes. Ask the bookseller for a recommendation, kick up your feet on a lounger—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand, and stay awhile. A book purchased and enjoyed from a special destination is one of the best mementos you can have.”

Florida’s Sunshine & Tax Benefits Beckon Billionaires

Article from the 11/11/19 “Wall Street Journal”: “While the president is the most famous rich person moving to Fla., he’s not alone. But it’s too soon to determine the impact of tax migrations on states’ budgets.

“NEW YORK – In addition to President Donald Trump, a number of high-profile financiers have ditched northeastern states for Florida’s warmer climate and lower taxes. David Tepper, Paul Tudor Jones and Barry Sternlicht are among prominent transplants who pulled up roots in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut and headed for the Sunshine State – and Carl Icahn says he’s moving his company from New York to Miami next year.

“The exodus of billionaires can put a damper on their previous states’ budgets, though New Jersey and Connecticut tax officials said it is too early for state revenue data to show whether the 2017 tax law imposing a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions has caused high earners to flee.

“The most recent tax data available covers 2017, and the SALT cap went into effect in 2018. Both Connecticut and New York have been losing residents; Connecticut’s population of 3.57 million in 2018 was down 22,000 since its last peak in 2013, according to Census figures, and New York’s population slipped to 19.54 million in 2018, a loss of about 119,000 from its last peak in 2015.

“Some of the reasons ultra-wealthy individuals give as reasons for moving to Florida include the 2017 tax law change, the high costs in New York compared with the greater purchasing power of a dollar in the Sunshine State, and the warmer weather. For many, it’s not a completely new beginning. Many of the transplants already owned vacation homes in Florida.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 5 – 22, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2F 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 $689K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $729K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 $914.5K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.195M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $385K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $579K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $734K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $849K.

3 new sales: Kimball Lodge #223 1/1.5 listed at $395K, Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 listed at $511K, Kings Crown #213 2/2 $799K.

3 closed sales: Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $650K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $720K, Pointe Santo #A46 2/2 $1.05M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $695K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $785K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/3.5 $949.5K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 $1.189M, 911 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.195M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 4/3.5 $1.299M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 $1.595M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $2.1M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $2.99M.

8 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $509K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 now $775K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 now $888.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $995K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $995K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.035M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.335M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.75M.

5 new sales: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 listed at $595K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $615K, 9440 Cotten Ct 3/2 listed at $650K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $975K.

6 closed sales: 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 $625K, 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 $650K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $675K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $777.5K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $855K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 $1.25M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $229K, 667 Birdie View Pt $339K, 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.695M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 $915K.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 now $375K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 now $1.199M.

1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D listed at $900K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 $3.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed at $2.99M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your Thanksgiving! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Things are Hoppin’ On Sunny Sanibel


Susan here, reporting a record-breaking weekend followed by a busy week at SanibelSusan Realty. Before those details, here are a few photos taken after I left the office last night. With no rain for several days, water and waterways surrounding the island are clear. These pictures in order include:

  • Tarpon Bay taken from next to SCCF’s Marine Lab and Tarpon Bay Explorers
  • Turner Beach looking toward the bridge to Sanibel and to the gulf
  • Roosevelt Channel to Pine Island Sound, taken from behind the Green Flash restaurant.

Tarpon Bay Explorers 10-03-19

Turner Beach 10-03-19

Turner Beach again 10-03-19

Green flash to channel 10-03-19

A combination of circumstances kept the SanibelSusan Team hoppin’ with three new sales, including the two properties we just listed last week. Sometimes when a new listing hits Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are buyers waiting for a property like that. Often their Realtor also is watching new inventory for them.

There usually is a jump in interest too whenever an asking price is reduced under the next $100K mark. With most internet search engines having drop-down menus in those increments, once a price is reduced, the listing gets noticed by prospective buyers who may have not considered the property before because the price was out of their budget range.

Sellers sometimes think that their first offer is too soon. But, even in multiple offer situations, it usually makes sense to see the first offer through to the end. Statistics show that the 1st offer often is the best offer. It also is important to recognize that sometimes there are terms as important as the price, like when the closing will occur, how serious the deposit is, Seller repair requirements, and what “outs” the contract has for the Buyer.

Getting a buyer to sign on the dotted line and negotiating the sale are just the first steps in getting a property sold. Working through contract contingencies often may be more challenging. Those may be things like the inspection/cancellation period in the “as is” contract. During that window, a buyer may view the property for the first time, have inspections, do due diligence on costs (like insurance, utilities, repairs), investigate making changes to the property (like adding a pool), or even change their mind.

The team tracks post-contract action items to ensure that they are successfully completed on time – things like escrow deposits, financing applications, applications to homeowners and condo associations, estoppel letter payments, appraisals, loan commitments, utility and service provider changes, etc.

The last seven days also brought us an unexpected and unusual number of hiccups with properties already under contract. I don’t know if that is what makes this business fun, but it certainly makes it interesting – ever changing – and reminds us that flexibility can be as crucial as follow-through.

The action posted since last Friday in the islands’ MLS is posted after a few news items below. We sure hope that this spurt of activity for us is an indication of what “season” will be like this year, but honestly, I think we just got lucky – and we are very thankful for it.

Sanibel’s Tax Rate Adopted – Lowest in Six Years!

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel City Council recently took less than eight minutes to officially adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. Approved and discussed at earlier budget hearings, the rolled back operating millage rate of 1.8922 mills is the lowest tax rate in the last six years. (A mill is $1 per every $1,000 of taxable valuation. The rolled back rate is the same rate it would take to generate the same amount of revenue in the coming fiscal year as was generated in the previous year.) The budget for the upcoming year is $73,266,546.

Mayor Ruane also noted that the millage rate is down 25% from its historical peak. Ruane explained that during the recession in 2007, the City’s total debt was high, and there were little reserves. In comparison, now, 12 years later, taxes are lower, reserves are replenished, the City has minimal debt that continues to drop off, and funds are available to allocate to large-scale projects like the Donax wastewater project.

Noteworthy from the budget is that Sanibel has received approximately $3.3 million of the $3.9 million expected from FEMA and the State of Florida for reimbursement of Hurricane Irma expenditures. If there are additional disaster needs through the end of hurricane season, the City has secured a $5 million line to use for immediate expenditures.

sanibel-fire-logo-e1539870118355New Website – Sanibel Fire & Rescue District

In compliance with State mandates, Sanibel Fire & Rescue District recently launched its new website at www.SanibelFire.com. It includes meeting dates, agenda, minutes, etc.

Island “Season” Begins & With Annual Events

  • San-Cap Motor ClubThe first Cars & Coffee Cruise-in of the season begins this week. Saturday, Oct 5 at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center from 9 to 11 a.m. with a lineup of classics, muscle cars, antiques, hot rods, and other vehicles on display. The Club usually holds this event the first Saturday of each month through season.
  • Sanibel Farmers Market – begins this week. See you there Sunday, Oct 6, on the grounds of City Hall (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Be sure and bring your recyclable bag – or buy one there. The market is both straw and plastic bag free! More info at www.BuyLocalLee.com
  • BIG ARTS Community Chorus – fall schedule runs from Oct 15 to Dec 9. While the new BIG ARTS building is under construction, chorus meets Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Strauss Theater. Join SanibelSusan who’s been with the group since it began in the early 90’s. No auditions are required, all ages and abilities welcome. Fall performances include: Sunday, Nov 24 at Community Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House; Friday, Dec 6 at Center-4-Life Luncheon at the Sanibel Rec Center; Friday, Dec 6 at Bailey’s Shopping Center for Luminary caroling; Tuesday, Dec 10 Holiday Concert. The spring schedule runs from Jan 7 to Mar 31, with rehearsals beginning Jan 28 at the new Performance Hall. Spring performances include: Saturday, Jan 25 at BIG ARTS Gala showcasing the new building and performance hall; Wednesday, Feb 19 at Annual FISH Luncheon at The Community House; Thursday, Mar 19 at Center-4-Life Dinner at The Sanibel Rec Center; Wednesday & Thursday, Apr 1 & 2 Spring Concerts at new BIG ARTS Performance Hall.
  • Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser – Friday, Oct 27, 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café patio. Includes pet costume contest and fundraiser to benefit Flying Fur Animal Rescue. $10 donation includes beer, wine, and yappitizers.
  • 38th Annual Taste of the Islands – CROW’s annual fundraiser featuring local island restaurants is Sunday, Nov 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving sick, injured, and orphaned native and migratory wildlife. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education, and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and animals through wildlife medicine. For more info, or to plan your visit, go to http://crowclinic.org . If you find an animal needing help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.
  • SCCF’s Wine in the Wild – Friday, Nov 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Bailey Homestead Preserve. Usually a sell-out, tickets will NOT be available at the door. Five food stations will be set up each featuring a dish from one of Sanibel’s finest kitchens – Catering by Leslie Adams, Cielo, Malia, Sanibel Catering Company, and Sweet Melissa’s Café. Each will be paired with a wine. Dessert buffet by Normal Love confections, followed by live auction. Reservations through Linda Uhler at 239-472-3817.

 

Upcoming at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

  • EveryKidOutdoors LogoEvery Kid Outdoors Program – The U.S. Department of Interior recently extended the Every Kid Outdoors Program (formerly Every Kid in a Park) for another seven years. The program grants fourth-grade students a free annual pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas – including J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge — with their families, classmates, and friends. To obtain the free pass, fourth-grade students visit www.everykidoutdoors.gov , participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple uses between Sep 1, 2019, and Aug 31, 2020, to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a keepsake pass at “Ding” Darling or other participating federal lands. The voucher or pass allows free entry for fourth graders, all children under age 16 in the group, and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in public lands like “Ding”) to most federally managed lands and waters. The pass does not cover amenity fees such as kayak rentals or boat rides.
  • Ding Darling DayDing’ Day Combines Art with Family Fun – Two-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Scot Storm will travel from Minnesota to headline the “Ding” Darling Day Duck Stamp Presentation on Sunday, Oct 20, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. He will sign stamps following his presentation. Florida Junior Duck Stamp winner Anna Grace Swanson from Titusville will also be on hand to meet and greet. “This year, we have folded Conservation Art Day together with ‘Ding’ Darling Day Family Fun Day,” said Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. Go to www.dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/ding-darling-days  for a full schedule of activities. Duck Stamp
  • Merit Badge University – On Oct 26, the Refuge will host its second annual Merit Badge University for registered Boy Scouts of America. Support for the program comes from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, LCEC, and Tarpon Bay Explorers, the Refuge’s recreation concession. Scouts from around the nation will have the opportunity to earn up to two out of six badges being offered that day. Ding Merit BadgeThey include Bird Study, Photography, Cycling, Kayaking, Fishing, and Fly Fishing. Class sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 27 – October 4, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $459K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 $559K.

5 price changes: Sundial #A306 2/2 now $729,999; Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-1 2/2.5 now $754.5K; Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $778K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3B 3/2.5 now $850K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $889K.

3 new sales Breakers West #A5 2/2 listed at $499.9K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 listed at $739K. Pine Cove #201 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing, view below).

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1 closed sale: Sundial #I103 1/1 $435K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9440 Cotten Ct 3/2 $650K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $689K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $795K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $895K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.12M, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 $1.195M, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 $1.299M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.45M.

3 price changes: 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $599K (our listing, pictured below), 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $599.9K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.375M.

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6 new sales: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $449K (our listing, pictured below), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 listed at $639K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed at $665K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $995K (our buyer), 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.189M.

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1 closed sale: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $509K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 1872 Middle Gulf Dr $495K, 2299 Starfish Ln $549K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr $979K.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $394.9K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd $240K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $638K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $995K.

1 price change: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.1M.

1 new sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 listed at $995K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday! If you are thinking about wintering on Sanibel, please don’t delay buying or making reservations.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Action This Week


cartwheelHappy Friday! It has been a week with a little more activity on the islands. Our listings certainly got more action, including two sales and a couple of price reductions. Teammates and I were out showing and viewing property, and we also got two new listings. Hopefully, this is an indication that the market is picking up.

A report with the details of the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis week, there was no Thursday morning Realtor® caravan of new listings. The bi-weekly summer schedule ends at the end of October when it reverts to every week. Our new listing at Pine Cove #201 will be open for caravan next week (9 a.m. to noon).

SCCF Sea Turtle Program 2019

kemp turtleDetails about the 2019 Sea Turtle tagging project are in “SCCF’s Member Update” Oct 2019 issue. Since the project began in 2016, their team has documented 1,178 encounters with turtles on the beach at night, representing 587 unique individuals. When a turtle is encountered, she is scanned for existing tags, tagged if none are found, and measured with calipers and a measuring tape.

Of the 587 seen, 236 have been encountered more than once. Sea turtles don’t nest every year – each individual lays approximately 3-6 nests over the course of the season and then spends a year or two foraging to replenish her energy reserves before returning to the nesting beach.

The 2019 season is the 4th year of the tagging project. “Highlights of the 2019 tagging season include:

  • A new record of 353 documented turtle encounters from May 1 – July 31
  • Six green sea turtles seen on Sanibel, totaling 18 observed nests
  • The average loggerhead carapace size was 94.5 cm (slightly over 3 feet), with their largest loggerhead measuring at 115 cm (almost 4 feet long).
  • Staff interacted with 1,126 beachgoers at night to educate them about the impacts of flashlights on sea turtles.”

More info at www.SCCF.org.

A Mixed Economic Picture Ahead

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_An interesting update in the September-October 2019 “Realtor®” magazine by NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun. He says, “Home building is accelerating, but sales continue to lag.”

“Annual home sales have been moving sideways in recent years: 5.4 million in 2016, 5.5 million in 2017, and 5.3 million in 2018. As of June, this year’s total stands to be 5.2 million on an annualized basis.

“These flat numbers make little sense in light of the decent economy. From 2016 through the first half of 2019, the economy added 8 million net new jobs at higher pay. Moreover, household net worth grew by $13.5 trillion, thanks to the rising stock market and surging real estate prices. The unyielding homeownership rate has lead to a more concentrated build-up in wealth than if ownership had expanded.

“Perhaps reduced tax benefits for homeowners is the main reason the home sales have become sluggish. Fortunately, the market is shifting for the better because of amazing mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve’s decision to be more accommodating has brought mortgage rates down to under 4%. The housing supply remains a hurdle but steadily homebuilders are responding by building more spec homes and at lower price points, where the demand remains the strongest. Realtors® are also witnessing an uptick in seller inquiries in our consumer survey. Consequently, pending contracts rose in June in all major U.S. regions, marking the first year-over-year gain in 17 months. Barring headaches over inspections, appraisals, and mortgage funding, closing activity is expected to shoot higher in the second half of the year.

“And the economy still has room to grow. Home building needs to increase robustly to address the inventory shortage. And falling vacancy rates in office, industrial, and apartment properties suggest commercial construction needs. The main looming worry is the impact of the intensifying trade war on corporate investment and the stock market. In a good economy, business investment should be rising around 5% or more – certainly roughly in line with the growth in profits, which have soared. That’s not happening, and it’s of concern.”

Fall Home Checklist

Florida Realtors logoWhether you are in Florida or elsewhere, here is a good Fall Home Checklist reminder taken from an article posted in the September issue of Florida Realtor® magazine:

Exterior

  • Trim tree branches and vegetation near roof
  • Check roof, siding and foundation for damage
  • Check chimney for loose bricks and missing mortar
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure water doesn’t pool around foundation
  • Seal gaps and holes that could provide access for animals
  • Replace loose or missing caulking around windows and doors
  • If area is subject to freezes, shut off exterior faucets and irrigation system and store hoses

Interior

  • Check attic and crawl spaces for leaks and moisture after wet weather
  • Check caulking around faucets showers, bathtubs, sink and toilets
  • Check faucets and supply valves for leaks or corrosion
  • Inspect water heater for leaks
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Have a professional inspect/clean the chimney. Test fireplace flue for tight seal
  • Test circuit breakers and ground-fault/arc-fault interrupters
  • Consider hiring a professional to inspect and tune up your furnace/HVAC system
  • Change HVAC system filters and remove any materials that block return air vent
  • Clean dryer vent.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service paragon black knight logoActivity September 20 – 27, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandpebble #1A 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.175M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.395M (our listing).

Lanai c

From the wrap-around balcony at Pine Cove #201.

2 price changes: Signal Inn #10 1/1 now $499.9K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $739K.

3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 listed at $569K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $575K, Sanibel Moorings #1341 2/2 listed at $680K.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 $640K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $449K (our listing), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $959K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $995K.

20190927_102647.jpg

1365 Tahiti Dr in Tradewinds

6 price changes: 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $959K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $975K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M (our listing), 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.795M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.795M.

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842 Limpet Dr in Shell Harbor

5 new sales: 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K (our listing), 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $1.095M, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.125M.

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1558 Sand Castle Rd in The Dunes

3 closed sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $505K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 $649K, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.6335M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $389K.

1 new sale: 5737 Baltusrol Ct listed at 299K (our listing).

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5737 Baltusrol Ct in The Sanctuary

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2217 1/1 $510K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 $1.375M.

1 price change: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 now $1.495M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!

 

 

 

Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website www.IslandWater.com under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at http://www.sccf.org/preserves. SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at http://www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at www.USTA.com using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to BuyLocalLee.com
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at www.MySanibel.com. The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map

END”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Warm Grateful Friday on Sanibel Island


It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on Sanibel after a fearful few days of Dorian-watching. It certainly was heart-breaking to see the devastation in the Bahamas. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has teamed with the Over Easy Café and is a drop-off point for Bahamas donations. The first two days of contributions at Over Easy have already been delivered to their next destination, with collections continuing for at least another week.

As probably expected, the holiday weekend here turned into a bust with many visitors/vacationers opting to cancel their plans. There has been very little traffic on Periwinkle all week. Some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, though.

Sanibel sunset 2011

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Though a quiet week, the team and I were happy to get a new listing in Sanibel Bayous over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, teammate Dave got all of our listing “for sale” signs back in place.

paragon black knight logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® transition to their new Multiple Listing Service continues for the second week with kinks continuing to be worked out as the system and its reports are fine-tuned to our geographic areas. If you previously received automatic email updates about a particular property type, those databases did not convert with the transition, but I am s-l-o-w-l-y setting up new searches so that you will begin receiving listings again.

The new system offers a Collaboration Center where both prospective buyers and sellers may access the system, make changes to their search criteria, save favorite listings, delete others, and request additional information. If you would like your email address to be set up for a search followed by automatic notifications, just let us know.

sundial-logoMid-week, Dave and I visited a couple of condos at Sundial Resort. It was surprising to see so few vehicles there, but like at other complexes in September, associations are making good use of the downtime. At Sundial West, the building walkways and stairs were being pressure washed.

At our listing at Sanibel Arms West, the building is being painted this month, with no rental bookings allowed until Oct 5. Showings still will be permitted, however, so we are trying to drum some up. It gets tough with income-producing properties to get access “in season”, so now is a good time for those investors to be looking.

View c

View from Sanibel Arms West #E2

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the islands’ Association of Realtors®, there were few announcements, and no new listings were open for viewings. That break in the usual program provided a nice opportunity for me to pass along a couple of the “giving keys” that I purchased recently at the Florida Realtors® RPAC Jamboree. “Giving keys” are typical-looking house keys, but each is stamped with an inspirational word. Worn on a chain around your neck. “Giving keys” are to be enjoyed, then shared, by passing them along to someone else who also may be inspired by their message. I passed along three keys, “hope”, “trust”, and “strong” to Association members Kasey Albright, Megan Rose, and Mary Lou Bailey, encouraging them to also “pay them forward”.

After a couple of news items below, you will find an update of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Temporary Closings

dining clip artThe Chamber of Commerce has posted the below list of island temporary restaurant closures. As in past years, many take staff vacations now, do annual deep cleans, and fix-ups before “season”.

Restaurants Closed
Blue Rendezvous French Bistro Now through Oct
Blue Giraffe Sep 2-16
Gramma Dot’s Sep 3-26
Il Cielo Now through Oct
Joey’s Custard Sep 20-Oct 3
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant Month of Sep
Over Easy Café Sep 9-19
Pecking Order Closed Sundays thru Sep
Sand Dollar (Sanibel Island Beach Resort) Breakfast only

Dinner only Fri & Sat

Schnapper’s Sep 3-16
Sweet Melissa’s Sep 8-30
Traders Sep 16-30
T2 Sep 16-30
Traditions Closed Sundays thru Oct 20

Closed Sep 1-22, & Nov 16

Island Cinema – Also closed temporarily for annual maintenance is Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center. It is closed all month and expects to reopen in early Oct.

rosieRosie’s Café & Grill is back. After a year-long absence Rosie’s reopened recently in its former location in Palm Ridge Place. The restaurant dates back a few decades when it went by the name Rosie’s Deli & Market and was on Sanibel’s east end. The 4th generation of owners, Joanne Fitzgerald and Irving Gavin, bought the restaurant in 2009 when it was still on the east end. (Gavin is the son of Eugene, of the well-known Gavin family that settled on Sanibel in 1914.)  The restaurant relocated to its current location, reopening in 2012 under the name Rosie’s Café & Grill. Currently serving breakfast and lunch; dinner will be available in-season starting in Nov. In addition to their former menu and Royal Scoop ice cream, Rosie’s now serves barbeque and soon will expand with a new bakery. Hours now are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues through Sat.

Upcoming Events

PrintCaptiva Triathlon – is this weekend, Sat and Sun Sep 7 and 8. As a reminder, Captiva Drive will be closed tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. and remain closed until the bike segment of the race is complete. The USAT-sanctioned adult sprint triathlon is a ¼-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile (5K) run on Captiva. The swim will be in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the bike will cover the length of Captiva on closed roads, and the run will be on the golf course path along the Gulf and Redfish Pass at South Seas Island Resort. On Sunday, there will be three age groups for the USAT National Splash n’ Dash race:

  • Ages 6-8: 100-yard swim, 0.5-mile run
  • Ages 9 & 10: 100-yard swim, 1-mile run
  • Ages 11-15: 200-yard swim, 1-mile run

The race is to benefit Community Cooperative’s Growing Healthy Kids and Mobile Food Pantry programs. More info at https://www.gearedup.biz/.

Sanibel Sea School2nd Annual Flip-Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – This Sanibel Sea School fundraiser will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church at 2304 Periwinkle Way. At check-in, each scavenger team (up to eight individuals) will be given a book of clues and challenges, each worth a set number of points. Included are clues that could be easily solved by younger children. Through the hunt, participants will use their knowledge of the island, marine biology, and local folklore to earn points. Along the way, teams will visit several Sanibel locations, where they may be asked to take a photo or bring back a specific shell or artifact to prove the visit. The Sea School says, “The key to hosting a successful scavenger hunt is creating clues that can be solved by anyone in the family, no matter their age.” The event is expected to be completed by 3 p.m. At the finish line check-in station, staff will tally all points collected by each team. Those teams will be able to “buy” letters with their points earned in order to solve the final puzzle. The team that solves the final puzzle correctly first will determine the winner, but that might not necessarily be the team that tallies the most points. Cost to participate is $25 per person. Participants must provide their own transportation. All proceeds will support the nonprofit’s scholarship fund which provides ocean experiences to thousands of area children each year. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.sanibelseaschool.org/flipflopfundraiser or by calling 239-472-8585.

Crow classic 2019Annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament – Also on Saturday, Oct 5 at The Sanctuary is the annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament. Shotgun starts at 12:30 p.m. with check-in at 11 a.m. and lunch at 11:30. Player registration is open to 100 golfers. It features 18 holes, a helicopter ball drop, and chances to score prizes. Players may sign up as a foursome, or as individuals and will be matched up as a team. All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the animals at CROW, their care, public education, training, etc. The community is encouraged to sign up to play or purchase some helicopter balls. Players can register to play (through Sep 16) and players/non-players can purchase balls (through Oct 3) at www.CROWClinic.org.

Positive Trends for Florida Real Estate

Posted yesterday on LinkedIn by local Realtor® colleague Wendy Humphrey with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty:

“SALT, the cap on state and local tax deductions, is likely to lead to a Florida population boom according to estimates from Demographic Estimating Conference.

“The controversial $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions encourages moving cash from high tax northern states to lower-tax states like Florida while it remains in effect. It is due to expire in 2025.

“Then there’s actually some relatively good news for Florida and other southern states regarding global warming.

“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which examines annual temperatures for the U.S. indicates warming is very uneven with some states barely warming at all.

The Washington Post“Northeastern states and Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have experienced extreme warming while many southern states have experience little change. Some have even cooled slightly. Florida has seen slight to moderate change. For the full report go to The Washington Post of August 13, 2019.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 30 – September 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $489K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.25M, Sundial #E108 3/2 $1.3M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Seashells #42 2/2 $375K, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 $1.185M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $539K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

3 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $424K, 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 743 Windlass way 3/2 now $669K.

2 new sales: 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $998.5K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/.5 listed at $2.875M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0180.JPG

Lot at 4566 Buck Key Rd in Sanibel Bayous

1 new listing: 4566 Buck Key Rd $149K (our listing).

2 price changes: 1219 Par View Dr now $299K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $599K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.797M.

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.

happy fridayUntil next Friday, wishing everyone a great weekend & week,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

If School Begins Monday, Is Summer Over? Noooo! Summer & Vacations Go On Forever Here!


It’s already another Friday with the islands quiet. When there is no traffic director at the Causeway Road 4-way stop at both noon and 5:30 p.m., you know Sanibel/Captiva traffic has slowed.

Though The SanibelSusan Team was short one teammate this week, we had some nice accomplishments – a great new listing, a nice price reduction on another, an offer in the works, a great turnout yesterday at our Isabel Dr listing on Realtor Caravan, and though our photographer has dealt with many rain and cloud interruptions, I think he will deliver some special marketing photos this weekend. The full team is back to work on Monday (the same day that Lee County schools are back in session). Yikes! Does that mean summer is over?

At our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday recognition was given to the donors and helpers that contributed to the 20,300 meals that were packed in record time at last Friday’s Meals of Hope benefit event. Thank-yous also went to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, his wife Doreen, and City Councilor Holly Smith for their hands-on help. It is fast fun work often with competition. Part of the giggles relate to the required hair coverings. If packers don’t bring a hat, they are blessed with a hairnet. I’m sure the Mayor loved that. (Two photos compliments of JMA Photography below: First the packers. 2nd photo has the Mayor rocking his hair net at the end of the table. That assembly-line begins with his wife Doreen (on left in baseball cap) & Councilor Holly Smith(on right).)

Only two properties, including our listing, were open for the Caravan that followed yesterday’s meeting. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System are after a couple of news items below.

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

Much of SanibelSusan’s business is with buyers who also own in another resort or 2nd home market area, usually one they visit in the summer. When owning here, if retired, they often claim Florida residency for the estate and tax benefits. Many island owners have properties in several resort & 2nd home market areas.

Holding the national RSPS (Resort & 2nd Home Specialist) designation, I follow our group newsletter for tidbits that will help not only in our business, but in the curriculum for the RSPS class that I teach each summer at our local Association of Realtors®. Here are some interesting excerpts from the July 2019 “RSPS Newsletter”. The article linked to http://www.IPX1031.com .

“Whether it’s a cabin in the woods or a beachside bungalow, vacation homes come in all shapes, sizes and locations. We took a closer look at vacation home destinations across the country to find which cities and towns have the most vacation homes. We also analyzed the overall percentage of vacation homes in every state. We researched vacation home data from more than 29,000 different census designated places across all 50 states and ranked the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state.

“Before we analyze the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state, let’s look at the overall percentage of vacation homes in each state. When you think of a popular vacation home hot spot, images of sandy beaches in Florida might come to mind. While Florida ranks high in terms of its number of vacation homes, it doesn’t beat out Maine, which is No. 1 in the country. Surprisingly, 19% of all homes in the Pine Tree State are vacation homes. Vermont and New Hampshire round out the top three states with 17% and 12%, respectively. Florida comes in at No. 6 with 10% of its homes categorized as vacation homes, according to the Census Bureau.

“Apparently, the Midwest isn’t a hot spot for vacation homes. Maybe it’s the brutally cold and long winters, but Midwest states rank low on our list. In fact, Illinois ranks dead last on our list with just 1% of its homes categorized as vacation homes. Other Midwest states like Ohio (1.1%), Iowa (1.6%), Indiana (1.7%) and Kansas (1.4%) are at the bottom of the list as well.

“However, there is one Midwest state that ranks within the top 10. With its more than 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a haven for fishing, boating and vacationing, which explains why the state ranks No. 8 among states with the most vacation homes.

“After we looked at the percentage of vacation homes in every state, we analyzed the top three places with the most vacation homes within those states. While familiar vacation locations such as Copper Mountain in Colorado and Fire Island in New York are among the top vacation home destinations, there are also smaller towns that make the list as well. For example, the top 3 destinations in California all have less than 300 vacation homes. However, every home within those three places are classified as vacation homes. Atlantic City and Boudurant, Wyoming as well as Yellow Pine, Idaho and McCarthy, Alaska are the only other locations on our list where every home is classified as a vacation home.”

After reading their article, I checked their infographic which shows by state what three towns/cities have the most vacation homes. If you are wondering what it reports for Florida. They are Captiva, Horseshoe Beach, and North Key Largo. (If you are like me, you now may be wondering, where is Horseshoe Beach? Google says, it’s on the Gulf, about 315 miles north of Sanibel and west of Gainesville. With an area of less than 2/10 of a mile, the population is only about 200.

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

As reported in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”, “The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

“Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the City of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline….The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it…The City has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District…The work is expected to take place in 2020. As the City manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The City is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.”

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

In the same “Sanibel-Captiva Islander” issue, it reports that “The City of Sanibel recently submitted applications for the design work and a request for financial assistance on the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road…” Once a Construction Control Line permit is issued by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, work there can begin, hopefully as soon as sea turtle nesting season is over at the end of October. In addition to the permit application, “the City submitted an application… for funds through the DEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests for beach projects…The City applied for just over $300,000 in state assistance as part of 50-50 cost share. It would cover the cost of the beach re-nourishment or fill placement and dune restoration…It would not include the structure itself – revetment, sheet piping, riprap – to protect the roadway…The total project may cost approximately $612,000. The City intends to request funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council to help cover the remaining costs of the project…The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the City deposits…That is why the City wants to get the project done by fall, early winter….”

“Earlier this year, the City had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on, at a City Council meeting, the firmed reported the following:

“”Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability…It is the intent of the City to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400’ section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.

“”The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400’ section of vulnerable highway….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 2-9, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $529K, Sundial West #K103 2/2 $920K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $589K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $759K.

3 new sales: Sundial West #I103 1/1 listed at $465.9K, Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 listed at $484K, By-the-Sea #C102 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $595K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $999K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $613.5K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $444K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $725K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.195M (our listing) (a few photos below, including mama & baby dolphin swimming by the 90′ dock)

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

4 new sales: 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

4 closed sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $335K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $485.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.35M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $299K (our listing) (some drone aerials below, it overlooks 9th fairway & has conservation land across the street), 3945 West Gulf Dr 3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 now $324K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,899,999.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Packing Food, Watching the Water, Island Scoop, Plus Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate


It’s an early Friday blog today as the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 Meals of Hope food packing event is this afternoon. Our Association-sponsored events have packed over 50,000 meals the last two summers and aim to add another 20,000 to the tally today.

There is no denying that the water woes of last summer affected island real estate sales, but as we carefully watch the weather, it is great to be able to report now that the view driving across the causeway is as good as I remember it this late in the summer. Here are some aerial photos taken for the City just three days ago.

With a rainy few days ahead, that sparkling blue may get stirred up this weekend, but it sure is different from a year ago at this time.

Below are the islands’ real estate statistics as of today (August 2, 2019). Inventory is low, with many island Realtors® looking for listings. Now really is the best to list for those wanting a sale during the upcoming “season”. (There are more closed sales last quarter and first quarter which often means contracts are written beginning in August so new owners will benefit from winter ownership.)

Sanibel Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 99 $820,294 145 $1,360,835 64 $657,673
Under Contract 11 $731,709 17 $987,647 4 $233,000
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 85 $662,618 147 $956,029 10 $419,900
Sold/Closed in 2018 155 $720,617 218 $1,112,748 21 $602,095
Sold/Closed in 2017 140 $728,793 186 $1,004,237 32 $327,229

 

Captiva Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 38 $1,115,343 34 $2,884,556 3 $1,929,667
Under Contract 6 $681,317 2 $2,112,500 0 N/A
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 14 $1,201,857 12 $3,181,963 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2018 27 $797,532 25 $2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2017 34 $671,551 22 $2,457,023 2 $2,312,500

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.

There was no Realtor® Caravan yesterday, but the changes in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service this week are after a few news items below.

Island Scoop

Lee County Emergency Management – AlertLee – The county recently released AlertLee which is an emergency notification system where the public can sign-up to receive notifications. This system replaces CodeRed.  Both the City of Sanibel and county use this popular tool to send targeted emergency alerts. You can receive alerts on multiple devices in your home and/or on your cell phones.  Even if you were enrolled in the old system, to continue receiving alerts YOU MUST SIGN-UP for alertLee.  Go to the city website mysanibel.com (in the Quick Links on the right side).

Noah’s Ark Annual Bag Day – is Friday, August 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bag day marks the end of summer season for the Ark which after this event closes for cleaning and repair – reopening on October 1. Deep price reductions lead up to the sale, when on Bag Day customers may buy marked bags in the parking lot for $4 each, fill them with store goods and walk away with as many items as the bags will carry. Any items not fitting in the bag are 80% off the regular price. Operated by the Women of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal for more than 50 years, Noah’s Ark offers all kinds of merchandise from clothing to housewares, to furnishings, and books. Proceeds go to local, regional, and global charities and agencies. (Note: Noah’s Ark begins accepting donations again on September 1.)

San-Cap Road Vegetation Trimming – from Rabbit Road to Bowman’s Beach Rd on the north side, now through August 7.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing Project – will begin August 5 with paving done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. The following streets are included in this project:

  • Wulfert Rd. (from Wildlife Dr. to Sanctuary Entrance)
  • West Rocks Dr.
  • Coquina Dr.
  • East Rocks Dr.
  • Emeril Ct.
  • Durion Ct.
  • Chert Ct.
  • Agate Ct.
  • Boulder Cir.
  • Palm Lake Dr.
  • Donax St (repairs to northbound lane)

Every year the City resurfaces selected roads based upon a time schedule and existing condition.  This year’s road resurfacing contract amount is $534,000 including full-width resurfacing of the ten streets above, and repairs to Donax Street.  The project is expected to be completed within 30 days.

SCCF’s Nature Center Closed for Minor Renovations – The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s administrative offices and trails remain open to the public, but the Nature Center on San-Cap Road is closed for two months – reopening September 16. During this time, the educational displays and exhibits will be updated,  new TV screens added, and videos will be replaced. The Nature Center will be turned into a multi-use space including an update of the education for the trail system. During the closure, the on-site trails and observation tower may be accessed from the parking lot rather than through the building. The trails are free and open to the public. The Bailey Homestead Preserve on Periwinkle Way remains open. More info at www.sccf.org.

Home Inspection Myths & Misconceptions

The August 2019 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine ends with a “share this” info graphic. It says:

“The inspection is pass/fail. Home inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails. They evaluate the condition of a home and report on defects. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether to buy the house.

Home Inspectors determine if a house is up to code. Inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.

The seller will repair every defect the home inspector finds. While the inspector’s report can be used as a negotiating tool, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an as-is contract. Note: If negotiating over repairs, focus on issues that could be costly to fix.

New construction homes don’t have to be inspected. New construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cuts corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed or workers simply make mistakes.

Home Inspectors determine the value of a house. The focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home; an appraiser determines a fair market value.

“Home Inspectors check for termites. In Florida, termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 26 – August 2, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $760K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $395.9K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 now $569K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $597K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 now $634K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $649K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $750K.

2 new sales: Seashells #12 2/2 listed at $395K, Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 listed at $625K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $230K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $470K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $565.4K, 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 $839K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

4 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $597K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1305 Eagle Run 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.049M.

5 new sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.499M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.539M.

6 closed sales: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $520K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $714K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $747K, 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $785K (our listing), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $840K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.245M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2431 Shop Rd $249.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #21 3/3 now $3M.

4 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 listed at $754.9K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 listed at $800K, Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 listed at $919K.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

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, Happy August!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

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

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help the Sea Turtles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

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.

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan