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

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

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.

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate, Sea Turtles, Freebies, & Other Sanibel Scoop


It was quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but with more gorgeous weather including reports of outstanding shelling thanks to stiff winds last weekend and some super low tides. Roadway and bike path traffic continues – though less of it – from visitors on spring breaks from some northern states that keep getting wintry weather. Here we cherish the balmy breeze days in the 70’s – like this week.

Spring events are in full swing. A few are mentioned below before a report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service this week.

Island Sales Statistics Year-to-Year

SanibelSusan loves statistics, so here’s a little info confirming my recent posts about Sanibel homes being the most popular product this year. The 83 Sanibel home closings that have already occurred this year are more than all of the other sales on both islands combined.

 

Closed Sales from January 1 to April 20

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
2016 54 56 15 12 13 2
2017 44 66 15 8 12 1
2018 48 83 5 8 12 0

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.

2018 Sea Turtle Season Has Begun

kemp turtleAs reported on-line by The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation this week:

“On Monday we had our first sea turtle nest of the 2018 season!

“For only the 3rd time in the history of the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nested on Sanibel Island! The Kemp’s ridley is one of the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle in the world. We are beyond thrilled that our first nest of the season was laid by a rare Kemp’s ridley!

“Last year SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program had a total of 684 nests on Sanibel – 650 loggerhead nests and 34 green nests – and 189 nests on Captiva. Both the loggerhead and the green nest counts for Sanibel surpassed previous records. 2017 was the fourth year in a row that Sanibel has broken historic nesting records, so we are hopeful that conservation efforts from the past 20-30 years are starting to pay off and sea turtle nest counts will continue to rise. More information on SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program can be found here.

“Please keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:SCCF logo

  • Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
  • Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night.
  • Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
  • Pick up litter.

“If you have any questions or concerns about nesting or injured turtles please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at (978) 728- 3663.”

Free “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) on May 12

BYOBAs posted on-line at the “Santiva Chronicle” this week:

“Get a BYOB washable canvas bag from Coastal Keepers free of charge, while supplies last, starting at noon May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way.

“On May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, Coastal Keepers will hold an event to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags on our islands and educate locals and visitors about the harm plastic bags cause to our environment.

“More than 100 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually in the United States, making them one of the most common trash items collected on beaches worldwide. Plastic bags have a short usage time and are rarely recyclable, taking 1,000 years or more to decompose. They pose a threat to wildlife as countless animals become entangled or mistake them for food each year.

“The solution to this problem is simple – bringing your own reusable bags when you shop eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags! On May 12 starting at noon, Coastal Keepers and Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way, will partner to distribute reusable, washable canvas bags for free while supplies last. We invite everyone to come out, grab a bag, and go reusable!

coastal keepers loglCoastal Keepers, formerly the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of START, operates as an independent branch of Sanibel Sea School to create and implement conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and our coastal heritage. Additional BYOB events are being planned for 2018. For more information about Coastal Keepers, please contact coastalkeepers@sanibelseaschool.org.

Upcoming Events

  • Public Meeting on Blind Pass Inlet Management Study – April 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sea Pearl Room at South Seas Island Resort at 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd. Provided by the Lee County Division of Natural Resources. More info about the study at www.leegov.com/naturalresources/blind-pass-2016–inlet-management-plan-study.
  • Annual Seahorse Festival – May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park, 2231 Periwinkle Way, hosted by The Sanibel School PTA. With a “taste” theme this year, featuring local restaurants with food, desserts, drinks, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment by Wilder Sons, students performing skits, games, inflatables, & more.
  • Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School Summer Camp – June 4 to August 24 at three locations: Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus, Sundial Beach Resort, & Canterbury School in Fort Myers. Programs for campers ages 4 to 18. Also space available in Pea-Sized Pufferfish Week, a program for 4- to 6-yr-olds; a coral reef expedition to the Florida Keys for 11- to 12-year-olds; an expedition to Belize for teens 15 to 18, and a variety of camps for 6- to 13-year-olds, each with ocean-related themes. More details at www.sanibelseaschool.org.
  • Captiva yacht clubSummer Junior Sailing ProgramJune 11 to 22 & July 16 to 27. A U.S. Sailing Certified program hosted by the Captiva Island Yacht Club at 15903 Captiva Dr. Open to children ages 8 to 15, of all skill levels. More info at www.captivaiyc/activities/sailing.

Changes Coming to Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

Sanibel-Island-Captiva-Island-Visitor-Center-Exterior.jpgAs reported in the “Island Sun” this week, announced at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last week were plans to renovate the chamber’s Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitors Center on Causeway Road. “With work expected to begin in early fall, the visitor center “refresh” will include a redesigned interior that will increase visitor “flow”, incorporate a classic coastal design with enhanced visitor experience integrating technology.”

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises to 4.47% This Week

associated-press-logoThough most island sales continue to be “as is” and “cash”, we always watch the interest rates because we know that it “only takes one” to make a sale and that “one” may want/or need a mortgage. Here is the Associated Press article that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®.

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed upward this week, slightly worsening affordability for homebuyers.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.47% from 4.42% last week. This benchmark rate averaged 3.97% a year ago.

“With the start of the traditional spring home buying season, people shopping for homes are dealing with higher loan costs and fewer properties for sale. Rising rates could further erode inventories as existing homeowners renovate homes rather than putting them up for sale to avoid a more expensive mortgage that would come with a new house.

“If higher rates lead to fewer homes on the market, it could push prices higher and further squeeze would-be homebuyers.

“”These increasing rates will serve as an added challenge to home shoppers in what is already perhaps the toughest home buying market in recorded history,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

Home borrowing costs have risen in response to higher yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. The interest charged on this form of government debt has risen from 2.78% last week to 2.9% early Thursday.

“The interest paid by the government is up along with the federal budget deficit in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and plans by the Federal Reserve to raise short-term borrowing rates for banks.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose this week to 3.94% from 3.875.”

Apply Now If You Want Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Florida Realtors logoThe Atlantic hurricane season coincides with the Florida rainy season which is June 1 to November 30, so seeing the below article posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® was a timely reminder that it is just around the corner. If you want flood insurance or need to make a change to your policy, now is the time. See the article and some provider recommendations below:

“Nearly a million property owners filed claims for various insured losses from Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, with estimated insured losses totaling nearly $8 billion. More than 750,000 of the 900,000 claims were made by residential property owners.

“With 1.7 million National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, Florida has the largest percentage – 35% – of NFIP policies in the entire system. When Irma made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, many homeowners, renters and business owners had flood insurance policies, but many more did not.

“Flooding can occur anywhere, even in low-risk areas. Almost 25% of claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding and receive one-third of all federal flooding disaster help.

“Homeowners, renters and business insurance does not typically cover flood damage, making it important for Floridians to buy an NFIP policy now. An NFIP insurance policy becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased. Flood insurance pays policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration.

“Floods are the most common and most costly natural disasters in the United States. Without flood insurance, it may be too expensive for owners to repair or rebuild.

“NFIP policyholders have been paid more than $887 million to repair and rebuild since Irma. Many policyholders received up to 50% advance payments–nearly $121 million–to minimize waiting for money to start work.

“By mid-March this year, 97% of the more than 28,000 submitted NFIP claims had been closed, with an average payment of $49,000.

“Homeowners, renters and business owners who live in NFIP-participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in NFIP.

“To find out if a community participates in NFIP, ask an insurance agent or go online to fema.gov/cis/FL.html….

“To find an agent who sells flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661.

For more information on general flood insurance questions, contact your local floodplain administrator, NFIP at 800-427-4661, or your insurance agent….”

Here are the four local insurance providers on SanibelSusan’s Directory of Services & Utilities:

Freebies From SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoIf you’d like a copy of our directory, mentioned above, just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. This list was compiled as a courtesy and is updated as we get recommendations. Vendors and service providers are included based on past service to us or our clients.

Also, if you are wondering when SanibelSusan’s next mass mailing of our inventory tables will go out, it will be soon. (With nearly 9,000 copies mailed, it makes our phones ring.) My team is confirming sales and updating our database now, while they also continue each Saturday to update the individual (Sanibel condo, home, lot, & Captiva) tables. To be added to our mailing list to receive a copy in early May (or anytime), just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. (Easy to email these inventory lists too. ) They show the addresses and prices of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and, for comparison, sales over the last few years too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 13-20, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $379K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $489.9K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $799K.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $535K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $549.9K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $624.5K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 now $625K.

1 new sale: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $474.5K, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.765M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $549.9K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $899K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $909K, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $1.25M, 725 Donax St 6/2.5 $1.548M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3.5 $3.395M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $509.5K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $669K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $635K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $809K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $825K, 501 Lagoon Dr 2/2 now $979K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.449M.

11 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $565K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 4439 Gulf Pines Drive 3/2 listed at $695K, 3320 St. Kilda 4/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 listed at $1.349M, 1033 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.495M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex listed at $2.075M.

6 closed sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $540K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 $607.5K, 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 $640K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.497M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $2.85M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 $3.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 412 Tiree Cir now $319,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $375K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $950K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.339M.

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, here are a couple of fun photos borrowed from Facebook.

Thriller 04-19-18.jpgA mama & baby dolphin photographed this week during a Sanibel Thriller rider (departs from The Sanibel Marina, more info at http://www.SanibelThriller.com).

Plus another Sanibel sunset!

sunset 04-18-18.jpg

TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

August Arrives to Sunny Sanibel


The SanibelSusan Team had a little boost of activity this week. Maybe, it was related to schools starting here next week and families getting in their last summer island vacations. Several of our listings had good showing action and Wednesday in arranging appointments to show investment condos, we found that only a handful were vacant.

San Cap LogoNot much was announced yesterday at our Thursday morning Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting which was lightly attended. Guess many Realtors® are getting in their last summer vacations too. Only two properties were on the following Caravan, including our new listing at 533 Rabbit Road.

It is a sweet near-beach home with more than $38K in rentals booking with just 4 long-term tenants from November 1 through June 1. Great opportunity for someone to buy now and enjoy that income. Click here to view the streaming video.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below, but first a few more photos from our friend Scott who was still in town snapping his wonderful bird shots. I am so thankful that he happily allows me to share them with you too. He said these Great White Egret pix were taken Sunday in Tarpon Bay. Each one is special, so I had to share them all!

egret 6egret 5egret 3Egret 2egret 4Egret 1

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Chamber signAlso yesterday morning, a diverse crowd of supporters gathered in front of The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce to sign the “Now or Neverglades Declaration”. It calls for a scientific solution to stopping the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee. In addition to many business owners, Realtors®, local leaders and concerned citizens, participants included Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water, SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel, and City Natural Resources Director James Evans – all speaking about the issues facing Southwest Florida waters and what needs to be done to save it.

“One of the most critical things we need to do now is communicate with the governor and ask him to move the planning process for storage south of (Lake Okeechobee) up to this summer,” Wessel told the crowd. “(It needs to happen) while they plan storage for north of the lake.”

The declaration calls for the use of Amendment One money to create storage and treatment and move water south from the lake to The Everglades. More than 200 scientists say that it is essential to restoring the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River estuaries.

There are currently more than 21,000 supporters who have signed the declaration. To learn more or sign it, visit gladesdeclaration.org.

Baby Boomers Chart New Direction in Housing

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_As a Baby Boomer who has no intention of retiring anytime soon, I enjoyed this recent article from “Daily Real Estate News” on line by “Realtor®Mag” who sourced it to “Mortgage New Daily” (July 19, 2016).

“Economists are having a tough time figuring out what housing market moves baby boomers will make next.

“Americans over the age of 55 are veering from previous generations, opting not to retire but instead launching second or even third careers. They are shunning the traditional patterns of retirement and that could have a big impact on their housing choices, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Insight report focusing on the baby boomer generation.

“Baby boomers are a critical piece to the housing market puzzle. Americans over the age of 55 make up a quarter of the population and control about two-thirds of the single-family home equity in the nation. Sixty-five-year-olds who, on average purchased a home 35 years ago now tend to have a home value that is likely 3.7 times what they purchased it for.

“Nearly a quarter of baby boomers recently surveyed by Freddie Mac say they need major renovations in their current home in order to stay there as they age. Many say they may face financial constraints to take on those remodels. For others who do plan to age in place, they may be underestimating the extent of the financial costs of outfitting their home with features so they can do so, says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“As such, about 18 million home owners over the age of 55 may be shopping for another house in the next few years, according to the Insights Report.

“The main reasons to move aren’t due to downsizing either. Instead, the survey showed the key influences making these generations move are: Affordability of the community, the need for retirement amenities, and a home with less maintenance.

“Bottom line, the authors note, the 55-plus population likely is to be an active part of the housing economy for years to come still.

Source: “Boomers Ignoring Conventional Housing Wisdom,” Mortgage News Daily (July 19, 2016)

Banner Year for Sea Turtles Continues

SCCF logoIt was so much fun on Wednesday when showing property to hear the prospect say that she can’t wait to move here and become a “turtle” volunteer. A 1-hour session with SCCF’s Education Director, Kristie Anders, and a few beach strolls talking to some already-trained turtle patrollers have her excited. She loved hearing that our Association of Realtors® years ago got Kristie approved to teach a segment of the continuing education required for Realtors® to maintain our real estate licenses. Every two years in Florida, 14-hours of classroom instruction are required. Each fall our local association offers a new curriculum meeting that meets that annual requirement. I am all signed up for September where Kristie will be one of the instructions and will update us on island environmental considerations.

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogBack to the turtles…According to today’s “Island Sun”: “Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) officials are reporting a banner year for loggerheads nesting on Sanibel and Captiva. As of August 1, the nest numbers for the east and west end of Sanibel were 164 and 422, respectively. The previous records for these beaches were 120 and 376 (both set in 2015). As of August 1, 183 nests have been laid on Captiva, also breaking the previous record of 179 nests laid in 2000.

“With 722 total loggerhead nests on the two islands, and scattered nesting continuing into August, this year has shattered the all-time record of 622 nests for the two islands combined.

“While records are being broken on Sanibel and Captiva, the statewide numbers won’t be totaled until the end of the season in October.

“At least for the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, these numbers show that decades of coordinated conservation efforts are starting to pay off, including nest protection, reducing fisheries interactions and limiting artificial lighting in coastal communities.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 29 – August 5, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $495K, Sundial A208 2/2 $799K, Somerset #D302 3/2.5 $1.85M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 now $529.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $229K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A302 2/2 listed at $485K, Sandalfoot #5A1 2/2 listed at $799K.

4 closed sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 $248K, Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $385K, Sealoft Village #106 2/2 $570K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 4995 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $2.995M.

2 new sales: 975 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $769K, 923 S Yachtsman 3/2 listed at $867K.

6 closed sales: 5131 San-Cap Rd 2/2 $445K, 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 $492.5K, 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $629.9K, 242 Christopher Ct 3/2 $715K, 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $751.5K, 824 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.225M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 listed at $519K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.695M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 listed at $3.585M.

1 closed sale: 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 $3.4M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s another sunset photo from Scott…each one just gets better and better!

Happy weekend all! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

scott sunset 07-31-16

Sanibel Summer & Ospreys, oh my…


It is Susan reporting that it has been another “quiet” week on the islands. No Association of Realtors® caravan meeting yesterday, but the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days follows a few news items below.

First a few photos  from our friend, Scott, who shares his pictures with us – for the blog. These ospreys love his dock! Thank you, Scott!

Sea Turtle Nests Break Record on East Sanibel

kemp turtleFollowing up on last week’s post about sea turtles, SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) blog on Wed, July 13, posted the following:

“Today SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program confirmed that Sanibel’s East End has broken the record for nest numbers since we began recording. We officially have 122 loggerhead nests on the East End.

“2015 was the previous record holder with 120 nests. Prior to that, the average for nests on the East end was 38 per year! We are having an excellent season!

“Here’s how you can ensure all those nests, hatchlings, and momma’s stay safe:

  • Respect all staked nests.
  • Turn off all lights – Nesting females and hatchlings primarily emerge after dark so remember to turn off all lights. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon to navigate towards the water. Any artificial lighting will cause confusion and steer turtles in the wrong direction. This includes beachfront lighting, flash lights, flash photography, and even iPhones.
  • Remove all beach furniture and toys – Clear everything off the beach from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. Obstacles on the beach can cause nesting females and hatchlings to become entangled.
  • Fill in all holes on the beach – if you dug a hole on the beach please fill it in. Nesting females and hatchlings can fall into holes, causing them to be vulnerable to predators.
  • Never approach a nesting sea turtle – if approached the sea turtle will likely abandon her nesting attempt

sea-turtle-eggsLoggerhead Sea Turtle Facts

  • Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world
  • Nesting/hatching season occurs from April 15 through October 31
  • Adult loggerheads can grow to more than 3-feet long and weight 200 to 350 lbs
  • A female loggerhead may nest around 3-6 times per season
  • Each nest contains 100 or more leathery ping-pong ball sized eggs
  • Incubation takes about 55 to 65 days depending on sand temperature
  • It may take 30 years or more for loggerhead hatchlings to reach maturity.”

2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate

realtor logoThe National Association of Realtors® (NAR) just issued the results of the annual survey by their Research Division which measures the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients. The report divides those international or foreign clients into two types:

  • Non-resident foreigners who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S. They typically purchase for investment, vacations, or other visits of less than six months.
  • Resident foreigners who also are non-U.S. citizens, but are recent immigrants (or in the country for less than two years) or temporary visa-holders residing for more than six months for professional, educational, or other reasons.

The report contains some interesting information. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “Amid slower economic growth in many countries and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, fewer non-resident foreigners purchased U.S. residential properties while resident foreigners stepped up their purchases. Meanwhile more U.S. domestic clients searched for properties abroad…
  • Foreign buyers purchase $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 – March 2016, a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period…
  • Non-resident foreigners accounted for 41% of foreign buyers while resident foreigners made up 59%. In past years, the number of foreign buyers was split almost evenly between resident and non-resident foreign buyers…
  • Foreign buyers typically purchase more expensive properties…
  • 45% of foreign buyers who purchased residential property came from China ($27B), Canada ($8.9B), India ($6.1B), the United Kingdom ($5.5B), and Mexico ($4.8B)…
  • Non-resident foreign buyers made up the bulk of buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom while resident foreign buyers came from China, India, and Mexico…
  • Although foreigners purchased property nationwide, five states accounted for 51% of total residential property purchases: Florida (22%), California (15%), Texas (10%), Arizona (4%), and New York (4%)…
  • 72% of non-resident foreigner buyers purchased the property as a vacation and/or residential rental property for investment while 21% of resident foreign buyers purchased the property for vacation and/or rental use…
  • 50% of reported transactions were all cash…
  • Previous client contacts and referrals accounted for 47%….”
  • Florida and Arizona attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes…
  • The outlook for international real estate activity in the U.S. remains positive. The decline in the value of the British Pound following Brexit is likely to mean fewer buyers from the United Kingdom. However, businesses and foreign real estate investors may choose to stay away from the United Kingdom, and the United States could become an attractive alternative.”

Corps to Cut Back Lake O Releases

SCCF logoAs reported on line yesterday (July 14) by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Some good news — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted the request made during this week’s Periodic Scientists Call to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to 2,800 cfs measured at the Franklin Lock from last week’s average 4,158 cfs. Flows to the St. Lucie will be reduced to 650 cfs.  There should be some improvement in water clarity because of the reduction — but that would also require that rainfall not be heavy enough to increase the amount of runoff from the Caloosahatchee’s own watershed.

“SCCF participates in a weekly conference call with the Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District as part of a local stakeholders group, which also includes J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the City of Sanibel, Lee County, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the City of Cape Coral.  As part of this process, the partners prepare a weekly Caloosahatchee Conditions Report.  During this week’s call, stakeholders requested a slowdown on the lake releases.

You can find the reports on our website.”

In other SCCF news, their Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel spoke at a congressional hearing yesterday in DC on the water quality crisis in Southwest Florida and St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties on Florida’s east coast. In part, she said:

“We need to recognize this is a national issue requiring science that informs and directs public policies to protect the natural resources in our backyard,” Wessel testified. “This is an economic crisis as well as an environmental one, with 47,000 jobs in our $3 billion tourism industry at stake. We must act now to stop the harmful algal blooms that extend over 35 miles of the Caloosahatchee as we speak. We ask four things of Congress today. Bring greater science to bear in seeking solutions. Pass WRRDA (The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2016). Continue the Tamiami Trail bridging. Accelerate the implementation of the CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) project to store water in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee. These four actions will provide the greatest impacts for resolving the water quality crisis on Florida’s two coasts.”

The Interagency Working Group hearing was the start of “Lagoon-Gulf Action Day” on Capitol Hill. Participating agencies included:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 8-15, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $515K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 now $699K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.1479M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1,299,999.

5 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $540K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 now $649K, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.929M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.895M.

3 new sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $775K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

2 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $330K, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 $1.075M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1242 Anhinga Ln listed at $525K.

1 closed sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd $799K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 $317.5K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Scott shared this sunset photo too! It’s a beauty!

Sunset 07-09-16

Thanks again, Scott ! Here’s hoping everyone’s weekend sunsets are beautiful too!

TGIF! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Dog Days of Summer on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


dog-days-of-summer-clip-art-627565It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the dog days of summer continue on Sanibel/Captiva Islands with a big shower this morning. More rain is expected over the weekend and into early next week.

dog days of summerThe humidity is off the charts, but hopefully not for long.

Luckily not many vacationers will be disappointed about the weather, as I understand that beginning tomorrow, it really will be “off-season” with occupancy way down – for the first time since last year at this time. Happens every year when it’s nearly back-to-school time.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoSeveral of our listings had showings this week and we had another nice closing today – both sides (list and sell). Two of our listings got price reductions too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® had a Caravan meeting yesterday (first one in several weeks). Just two new listings were on tour (one of Sanibel, one Captiva), and just a couple of sales were announced which are described in the 7-day report from the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listings Service which follows a couple of news items below.

New Pavilion Constructed at SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve

sccfThis week, the “Island Sun” reported that one of the final remaining projects to be completed at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Bailey Homestead Preserve was the addition of a large open-air pavilion behind the main house.

Here's a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

Here’s a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate Lisa cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

It is nearly completed and “the foundation is looking at a November opening date for the Native Plant Nursery, which will relocate there from its current home along Sanibel-Captiva Road.

“The pavilion is planned as the site for SCCF’s Landscaping for Wildlife program, along with other activities hosted by the nursery….The Bailey Homestead had originally been a row farm, growing crops such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant and other vegetables, until the hurricane of 1926 ruined the island’s rich soil. Later, the site included citrus trees such as orange, grapefruit and lime. The property also includes what members of The Hammerheads call the “Honey House”. Built after the original structure, the small building is where workers would process the row crops and honey farmed onsite.

“Over the next few months, work to be completed at the Bailey Homestead Preserve includes adding final touches to the pavilion, grading of the properties’ pathways and parking areas, installing fencing and finishing the interior layout of the house itself….SCCF will announce the grand opening date for the Bailey Homestead Preserve in the future. For additional info, visit www.sccf.org.”

Lee County Day at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

bailey-mathews shell museum signAugust 20, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lee County adults get half-off museum admission and Lee County kids get in free.

For one day only and sponsored by LCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op), this is a great opportunity to see the WaterVentures Mobile Science Lab.

Yun Joins “Forbes” as Regular Contributor

ForbesAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, it was good news to read the following article about him in yesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, has become a regular contributor to Forbes.com, sharing his latest thoughts on the housing market. He will be posting two to four articles every month related to housing and the economy at Forbes.com.

“Yun’s columns will offer insights into the wide range of research activity he oversees at NAR, including NAR’s existing-home sales statistics, NAR’s Affordability Index, and the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. Yun regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends to NAR’s 1 million REALTOR® members as well as to media outlets across the country.

“In his first column at Forbes.com, Yun highlights the drop in the home ownership rate to a near 50-year low, and how that doesn’t necessarily mean the housing recovery is headed for trouble. “This does not mean that the housing market is in a funk,” Yun writes. “Rather it is quite the opposite, with home sales and home prices rising solidly in recent times. Existing-home sales were up eight% year-to-date to June from the same period a year ago, while new home sales were higher by 21%.”

“The home ownership rate has fallen because of the dwindling number of first-time home buyers and the tightening of mortgage underwriting standards in recent years, he says. The drop in first-time home buyers is the most alarming trend for the housing market, Yun writes.

“In 2014, the first-time home buyer share dropped to 33%, the lowest level in nearly three decades. What’s more, the tighter lending environment has prompted an estimated 1.2 million missing mortgages to would-be qualified borrowers based on historic norms, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute.

“Yun notes the drop in the home ownership rate has caused the country’s wealth distribution to become more unequal today — mostly because the drop in the home ownership rate is occurring at a time of rising home values. “Homeowners and property-owning investors are participating in the housing equity recovery but there are fewer in number,” Yun notes.”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sundial #R401 2/2 now $799K (our listing).

1 new sale: Sanddollar #A203 3/2 listed at $1.015M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $225K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

3 new listings: 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $1.275M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $1.495M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $3.75M.

2 price changes: 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $679.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3.5.5 now $1.35M (our listing).

4 new sales: 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 listed at $639K, 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 listed at $798K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed at $834.9K.

5 closed sales: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 $375K, 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 $510K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $607.5K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 $835K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.575M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $399K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3354 Barra Cir $295K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #A205 1/1 $259K, Captiva Shores #1A 3/2/2 $1.55M, Beach Homes #27 5/3 $2.599M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $1.86M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $3,999,999.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend! Here the turtles are still nesting & the baby sea turtles are still hatching! Cheers! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Summer In Full Swing on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s a little overcast this afternoon on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but as Floridians know, if we wait a minute in the summer, the sun will be out. If that is late day, it usually results in a beautiful sunset.

July 22 2015 sunset

Below are a few news items, followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week.

Progress on Sanibel’s Civic Core

During Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the most recent Sanibel Civic Core conceptual plan, which has been in the works for over a year, was presented. The architect has been meeting with city officials and stakeholders associated with the project – i.e. BIG ARTS, Sanibel Community Association, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, and The Center 4 Life.

The plan would consolidate the island’s most frequented facilities on a 25-acre site adjacent to City Hall. The latest version of the project layout includes a hub of five buildings – a performance hall, theater, gallery, Lifelong Learning facility, and Center 4 Life – surrounding a central courtyard with stage. It would be elevated between a large community green to the west and parking to the east, surrounded by a shared-use path and including both stairs, access ramps and public seating and gathering spaces.

Sanibel Civic Core 07-23-15

According to an article in today’s “Island Sun”, “the community green would be located to the north of a smaller green space (where the Herb Strauss Theater is currently located) and would include two pavilions and public restrooms, which would allow two events to be held simultaneously.”

69 Acres of Mangroves Protected on Captiva

Good news reported this week in the “Island Sun” about the end of long-time wrangling with developers of South Seas Plantation and those opposing the destruction of mangrove wetlands in a basin area of Captiva. This case went all the way to the “U.S. Department of Justice who defended the case on behalf of the United States in May 2014…Following months of negotiations, a final settlement has been reached and publicly filed with the court…The U.S. Government, in order to avoid further litigation expense, agreed to compensate PDL (Plantation Development LTD) in the amount of $2.4 million (plus interest and legal costs) in exchange for PDL’s agreement to transfer 69 acres, comprising the potential Harbour Pointe development site, to the United States….The property has now been transferred.

black mangroves captiva

It will be managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Kudos to the Captiva Civic Association, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for not giving up!

Here’s Where Buyers Are Paying All-Cash

core logic logoGood article posted on Monday’s “Daily Real Estate News” online. Sourced to CoreLogic (July 16, 2015):

“While the number of all-cash transactions is dropping nationwide, a few pockets across the country are still seeing a large share of buyers paying all-cash for their home purchase.

“Nationwide, the number of all-cash sales making up transactions has plummeted since peaking in January 2011 when cash transactions made up 46.5% of total home sales nationally. Now, that percentage has dropped to 33.7% of total home sales, according to CoreLogic’s cash sales report.

“The year-over-year share of cash sales has fallen each month since January 2013. Despite the drops, cash sales still remain elevated by historical standards. Prior to the housing crisis, cash sales made up about 25% of home sales, according to CoreLogic. If cash sales continue to fall at the most recent pace, the share should hit 25% by mid-2017.

“The largest number of cash sales are through real estate-owned sales, with nearly 57% of cash sales being from REOs. Resales followed with the highest cash share at 33%, followed by short sales at 30% and newly constructed homes at 15%.

money-bag-clip-art-53457“The following states had the highest share of cash sales in April, the latest data available from CoreLogic:

  • Florida: 51.4% of transactions were from cash sales
  • Alabama: 48.5%
  • West Virginia: 48.3%
  • New York: 45.4%
  • Kentucky: 41.4%.

“By metro level, the following cities had the largest number of cash sales:

  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Fla.: 59.1%
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.: 58.5%
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.: 58.1% (SanibelSusan note: it’s much higher on Sanibel/Captiva)
  • Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich.: 58%.
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla.: 56.9%.

“Meanwhile, Syracuse, N.Y., had the lowest share of cash sales at 11%, according to CoreLogic.”

Sanibel Draft Budget Presented for FY 2015-16

Sanibelcityseal logoThe initial draft FY 2015-16 budget was presented to City Council this week. Council unanimously approved a proposed operating millage rate of 1.939 mills, identical to last year’s approved and adopted rolled-back rate. The first budget public hearing will be on Saturday, September 19 at 9 a.m. when they will discuss and adopt the tentative millage rate and budget. The second and final budget hearing will be on Tuesday, September 22 at 5:01 p.m.

Turtle Madness

Seaturtlehatchlings

The August-September 2015 “SCCF Member Update” received this week included statistics on sea turtle nesting, including the byline “So Far, An Amazing Season”. Here are a few more details as penned by Kelly Sloan, SCCF Sea Turtle Coordinator:

“Historically, the East End of Sanibel (Lighthouse Beach to Tarpon Bay Road) has been the lowest density nesting beach survey by SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program. An average of 38 nests per year have been laid on the East End between 1996 and 2013.

“2014 was a record year for the East End, with 110 nests laid on the five-mile stretch of beach. This year, in mid-June, the East End had already documented 70 nests. Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) typically nest from May-August, so we anticipate many more to come!

“Mid-season nest counts also suggest that the West End and Captiva are on track for an above-average nesting season.

“We are also excited to report that green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) have returned to nest on our beaches in 2015. You may remember that a record 23 green nests were laid on Sanibel and Captiva in 2013. Sea turtles nest at intervals of about every two years, so another pulse of green nests in 2015 coincides with their biennial nesting pattern.

“But it gets even better – early in the 2015 nesting season, a leatherback (Dermochelys corriacea) nest was laid on Sanibel! Leatherbacks do not commonly nest on the west coast of Florida. The largest nesting population for Atlantic loggerheads is French Guiana, and there are also nesting colonies in the Caribbean and the east coast of Florida. The only other leatherback nest documented on Sanibel was laid in 2009.

“Leatherbacks are the largest species of sea turtle, weighting up to 2,000 pounds. They can dive deeper than any other sea turtle (up to 3,900 feet) and they migrate extreme distances. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to protect a nest laid by this remarkable species!

“Throughout the nesting season, volunteers and staff have been screening nests to protect the eggs from predation by coyotes. As we enter the hatching season, the City of Sanibel and SCCF will partner to promote the “lights out” message in an effort to reduce hatchling disorientation. A grant award from the Sea Turtle Conservancy, funded by the specialty sea turtle license plate (SanibelSusan has one of those), has provided support for educational materials to remind beachgoers and beachfront property owners…Stay tuned for the final nesting and hatching statistics. You can find the current nesting stats at seaturtle.org, accessible from the sea turtle pages at www.scc.org .”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $334,999; Sundial #J402 1/1 $465K.

3 price changes: Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 now $310K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $475K, White Caps #5 1/1 now $535K.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 listed at $229.9K, Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 listed at $720K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 listed for $825K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 $729K, 734 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.195M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 listed at $2.898M.

6 closed sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $435K, 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $475K, 1586 Century Ct $610K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 $860K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $950K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $3.65M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 listed at $1.535M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #706 2/2 $588K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 953 South Seas Plantation Rd 5/5.5 now $6.299M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.15M, 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.075M, 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 $3.94M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

sun & rainUntil next Friday, raindrops or sunny, have a great weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Memorial Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel/Captiva Islands


It’s already another Friday with Sanibel and Captiva Islands gearing up for a holiday weekend. Our phones at SanibelSusan Realty have been quiet today, but those coming from off-island this morning remarked that there were families staking out spots on the causeway as early as 7:30 a.m.

Below are a couple of cell phone photos snapped this afternoon. It’s that time of the year when the sky is bright blue and the gulf is bright blue-green – gorgeous! These were taken at the Fulgur Street beach access between Compass Point and Sanibel Siesta.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoOur listings had few inquiries and showing requests this week, probably related to a slowdown in traffic, but with a home closing on Monday, us assisting clients in town doing due diligence and inspections, and another closing coming up early next week, we have stayed busy.

Teammate Dave has heading out to show a condo, while Elise finalizes her weekly report of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service which follows some news items below.

SanCapAssnLogoWednesday was the annual island Association of Realtors® RPAC fundraiser at The Sanctuary. Dave played in the afternoon golf scramble, while I attended the event after work which included both silent and live auctions.

rpacTalley in process for total funds raised. I know my checkbook has another good dent in it. The Sanibel/Captiva goal is to win five of the five state awards this year.

Because of the RPAC event, there was no caravan yesterday, but there will be one next week. Always interesting this time of the year to see if there are any new listings. We have one in the works.

Save Sea Turtles

Sanibelcityseal logoIt is sea turtle nesting time, so worth a repeat of the below info that was contained in a May 1, 2015 flier that accompanied City mail last week:

“Turn Off Lights & Close Curtains/Blinds After Dark – Hatchling sea turtles are guided to the ocean by an instinct to travel away from the dark silhouettes of the dune vegetation and toward the brightest horizon – light from the sky reflecting off the ocean. Artificial light near the beach can deter females from nesting and disorient hatchling sea turtles. Most hatchlings that wander inland die of exhaustion, dehydration or predation. Local ordinances in effect year-‘round prohibit BOTH interior and exterior lights from illuminating the beach.

“PROBLEM: Interior lighting sources including chandeliers, lamps, and other fixtures that are visible from the beachfront. Unshielded interior lighting, even from just a single beachfront condominium, resort unit, or residence, is enough to disrupt the normal sea-finding behavior of sea turtle hatchlings. SOLUTION: Close curtains and blinds or turn off lights after dark.

“PROBLEM: Exterior lighting sources including flood lights, porch, ceiling fan lights, parking area lights, and other fixtures that are visible from or directly, indirectly, or cumulatively illuminate the beach. SOLUTION: Shield or turn off outdoor lights near or facing the beach. Replace the light source with a low-wattage yellow or amber bulb.

“PROBLEM: Portable lighting sources including flashlights, lanterns, or flash photography. SOLUTION: Avoid using flashlights, lanterns, or flash photography while on the beach at night. Cover the lens of your flashlight with red cellophane to make it less disruptive to sea turtles.

“For more information regarding sea turtles on Sanibel or the City’s beachfront lighting regulations, please visit the City’s website at http://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Beaches/Sea-Turtles….”

Sea Turtles & Gopher Turtles – Big Difference

Facebook logoWith so much in the news about sea turtle nesting, it was with interest that I saw the following posting this week on the Facebook group page called “Beautiful Sanibel Island”.

I messaged the author, Kelly Everette Householder, who agreed to share her thoughts here too. Thank you, Kelly!

“Friends of this page – I want to relate a story that happened on the beach yesterday. My husband and I were sitting in our chairs at the water’s edge just enjoying the day. There was a small commotion behind us. There was a kind old gentleman who had found a “turtle”. He placed it at the waters edge but it tried to crawl toward the beach so this man thought to “help” the turtle by carrying it out past the second sandbar and letting it go.

“Although we did not get a good look at the animal, we became convinced that it was not a sea turtle but instead a small tortoise. The man returned from his rescue and walked off down the beach. My husband and I and another family watched as this “turtle” floated and swam. My husband swam out and got him and brought him back to the beach. Sure enough it was a gopher tortoise as we had suspected. Hubby took him over the dunes and released him back to his habitat.

“I post this to educate people the difference between a tortoise and a sea turtle. The biggest difference that is obvious is sea turtles have flippers (or fins) while land turtles have claws for digging. (See pictures below. Sea turtle in top photo, gopher tortoise on bottom.) Other differences include shape of the shell and color. I know this man thought he was doing a good deed but we should all remember that wildlife does not first and foremost need our human help except in rare instances such as what my hubby did. If you see an island animal in danger please call the authorities (i.e. C.R.O.W., or even the Sanibel Police Dept).

sea turtle

gopher turtle

“We have been coming to this island for 22 years and have raised our children to love and respect the wildlife here. I’m saddened by several things I have seen on this trip. A man sailing sand dollars like Frisbees and a young mother who swatted a young child’s hand after he picked up a tiny crab to show her. We have seen people leaving the poles to their umbrellas on the beach overnight and even after being tagged for it continuing to do so. I guess they thought they were special and did not have to follow the laws that the rest of us follow every day. And finally, the people who came from the public park next to our complex and set up camp at the end of the beach in front of our building and proceeded to help themselves to our pool. I have been amazed and disheartened by the lack of respect to nature and mankind in general.

“I’m not sure all the awards and advertising is a good thing for our island sanctuary. This truly is not a beach for everyone. If you are looking for white, pristine beaches with absolutely nothing on them but people please go to one of the many other beaches in Florida that can accommodate the average beach-goer.

“Please come to Sanibel to enjoy the preserved and as unspoiled as possible flora and fauna that we all appreciate so much. Keep in mind that our beaches have many, many shells that can hurt your feet. There are shell casings, driftwood and numerous washed up items on the beaches. Our beaches are not groomed to look like a perfect photograph. We find that real nature provides a much more beautiful picture. Enjoy it but leave only footprints!”

Summer Vacation Bookings

vip_logo_115At lunch today with pal David Schuldenfrei and his wife, Roberta, we talked about how our business stayed busy longer this year and how this is the first week that the phones have noticeably stopped ringing. David manages VIP Vacation Rentals and sells real estate here too. He remarked with another “first” when he said, “Of VIP’s many weekly vacation rental properties, fewer than 35 are available for any week between now and the end of August.” With schools not out yet, he said that is a new record, probably related to the recent announcement that Sanibel is the nation’s top family vacation destination.

Soooo, if you know anyone looking for a vacation rental here this summer, better suggest that they get those reservations made now!

City of Sanibel Hurricane Seminar for 2015 Season

Sanibelcityseal logoNext Friday, May 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., the City of Sanibel will sponsor the 2015 Hurricane Seminar to educate residents, property owners, business owners, and island workers. The seminar is free and will be held at BIG ARTS at 900 Dunlop Road. Sanibel hurricane re-entry permits will be available for residents and businesses. For requirements, visit the Police Department section of the City website www.mysanibel.com. (The 2012 hurricane re-entry passes still are valid and in use.)

Economists Revise Housing Forecasts

realtor logoHere is a little change in the forecast as posted today on Realtor®Mag’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on line:

FannieMaeLogo“Economic growth is expected to moderate for the rest of the year, but housing is one sector that is expected to post solid gains, according to Fannie Mae’s newly released report from its Economic & Strategic Research Group.

FreddieMacLogo_3“Economists with mortgage giant Freddie Mac also released a report this week revising housing forecasts upward for the remainder of the year. Economists expect that with tight for-sale inventories home prices will rise 4.5% this year, revised up from 4% in a prior report.

“”The labor market has added 5 million additional jobs, the unemployment rate is significantly lower, and housing markets are generally in much better condition than two years ago,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“Fannie Mae economists note that mortgage applications for home purchases –a gauge of home sales — have moved up consistently for the past couple of months.

“”While refinance applications have recently pulled back, the actual volume of both purchase and refinance originations earlier in the year came in stronger than we had projected,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. As such, Fannie Mae economists have raised their mortgage origination forecast to $1.46 trillion for this year

“”We are seeing positive developments in the housing space, supporting our forecast of moderate but broad-based improvement in 2015 compared to last year,” Duncan says.

“The wild card for the market may be what happens with mortgage rates in the next few months. Low mortgage rates have helped to keep homebuyer affordability high in the first quarter of this year, but housing markets will likely see an increase in interest rates for the remainder of year, Freddie Mac economists note.

“”For the remainder of this year, we’re likely to continue to see these mortgage rate swings as market participants try to anticipate Fed timing around rising short term interest rates,” says Kiefer. “Unfortunately, perspective home buyers may experience bouts of affordability shock in many housing markets. So far it’s been low mortgage rates that have helped to keep homebuyer affordability strong in the face of rising house prices, while income growth remains stagnant.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #B408 1/1 $465K, Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 $649K, Sandalfoot #4C3 2/2 $699K, Junonia #210 3/2 1.195M.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $339K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $639K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.28M.

4 new sales: Duggers #2 1/1 listed for $329K, Sundial #H109 1/1 listed for $339K, Sundial #J401 1/1 listed for $499K, Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 listed for $669K.

6 closed sales: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 $205K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 $450K, Nutmeg Village #304 2/2 $600K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 $759K, Lantana #102 4/3.5 $1.325M, Seascape #105 3/3 $1.75M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 2451 Blind Pass Ct 3/4.5 $2.41M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/3 $3.97M.

5 price changes: 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $539K, 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $598.9K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $675K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $709K, 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 now $749.9K.

3 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 listed for $299K, 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 listed for $599K, 4203 Dingman Dr 4/3 listed for $2.695M.

12 closed sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $320K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $350K, 659 Donax St 2/2 $475K (our Seller), 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $530K, 603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $640K, 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $755K, 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $775K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 $800K, 1056 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $835K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $995K, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 $1.05M, 2720 Coconut Rd 3/3.5 $1.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $219K.

1 new sale: 3354 Barra Cir listed for $319K.

3 closed sales: 1332 Eagle Run Dr $242.5K, 643 East Rocks Dr $300K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct $600K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 now $499K; Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1,895,555.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2237 2/2 $670K, Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/3 $755K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $7.699M.

1 new sale: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 listed for $3.69M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

memorial day

Fall Is In The Air on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Beach (Medium)Fall is definitely in the air – or as fall-ish as it becomes on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. A cool front arrived Wednesday night which brought a drop in humidity and lower evening temperatures. Whenever the humidity is under 70%, it is a wonderful thing in Southwest Florida.

toll boothIsland traffic is slowly increasing as snowbirds return. Local TV news last night reported that the total number of visitors to Southwest Florida has increased considerably over the last year. In August alone, nearly 8,000 more vehicles crossed through the Sanibel toll booth.

Below are a few news items, followed by the week’s activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

2014 Annual Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoThe islands Association of Realtors® had no caravan meeting this week, but last night was the annual meeting and election.

Yours truly, the 2014 Nominating Committee Chair, is happy to report that two new directors have been elected to our nine-member board. Congratulations to Dustyn Corace and Deb Smith.

Upcoming Events

Ding Darling Society logo“Ding” Darling Days – at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge from Sunday, Oct 19, through Saturday, Oct 25. www.DingDarlingDays.com

Island PawsHowl-o-Ween – Island Paws Costume Contest & 10th anniversary, on the patio of Over Easy Cafe Friday, Oct 24 5-7 p.m.

(Judging at 6:30 p.m.) Proceeds benefit Gulf Coast Humane Society. This is great fun to watch even if you don’t have a pet!

SanibelCityHall40th Anniversary of Sanibel’s Incorporation – reception (hosted by Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee) at City Hall at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov 4.

Record-Setting Year for Sea Turtles

SeaturtlehatchlingsSCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) recently reported that 411 Sanibel nests (110 on the east end and 301 on the west end), shattered the island’s previous high marks of 358 sea turtle nests established in 2000. In addition, the previous record of nests on the east end was 69 in 2012. Captiva had 124 nests this year.

SCCF logoIn addition to SCCF employees, more than 130 volunteers patrol the islands’ beaches every day throughout sea turtle nesting season (May to October).

Sanibel Land Development Code Subcommittee Report

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported by the “Island Sun” today, “following Tuesday’s planning commission session, the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee (LDCRS) heard the annual report on amendments made to the City’s codes made during the past two years”….According to City Planning Director, Jim Jordan, “amendments made during the two-year span included:

  • Inter- and intra-connectivity standards for providing access between properties and to the shared use path.
  • The phasing of preliminary plats approvals for major subdivisions.
  • Legislation to regulate floating dock platforms preempted from permitting by the Sate of Florida.
  • Legislation requiring the installation of reflective tape wrapping on telecommunication towers greater than 75 feet above ground.
  • To allow pervious brick pavers installed within the driveways and parking areas of single-family, duplex and triplex to be treated as 100% pervious.
  • To allow for an increase in the room size of one-bedroom resort housing unit to develop up to 600 sq. ft. of habitable floor area.
  • Update the list of permitted uses within the commercial district and providing a process to consider new uses that are similar in nature and intensity to those uses that are listed in the code.
  • A new provision allowing minor nonstructural alterations and modifications to the rooflines of lawfully existing structures devoted to a nonconforming use.
  • Requirements, procedures and standards for maintaining and securing distressed buildings and structures.”

Recent Appointments

KevinThe City of Sanibel announced on Wednesday that Mayor Kevin Ruane as been appointed by Florida Governor Rick Schott to serve on the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The Task Force is composed of 14 members including federal, tribal, state, and location representatives, developing policies, strategies, plans, programs, projects, and activities that address the restoration, preservation, and protection of the South Florida Ecosystem. The success of the Everglades restoration will have a tremendous economic impact on the coast communities of South Florida, including Sanibel. Congratulations, Kevin!

Chris HeidrickToday’s “Island Sun” reports that Chris Heidrick, Association of Realtors® affiliate and “principal of Heidrick & Co. Insurance on Sanibel has been appointed as Chairman of the National Flood Insurance Task Force for the Independent Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). In this new position, he also will serve on the Flood Insurance Producers National Committee which is dedicated to improving the National Flood Insurance Program through consultation, cooperation, and regular communication with the Federal Insurance Administration/FEMA.” Congratulations, Chris!

In Feb, both Kevin and Chris joined a Lee County Commissioner and several local mayors in DC to present suggestions for reasonable flood insurance reform. Most of the ideas were included in The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, signed by the President in late March. The Act successfully removed the most harmful provisions of Biggert-Waters, which threatened the local economy. I got rebates from both my home and office flood insurance premiums just this week.

“In the coming year, Chris’s primary focus will be on a smooth re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 2017.”

3 Industry Trends to Watch This Fall

BankRate.com logoHere’s a recent article posted on “Daily Real Estate News” and sourced to BankRate.com (October 2014):

“The housing market is expected to heat up this fall, despite buyers showing greater signs of being conservative in their home purchases. Bankrate.com recently highlighted some of the following trends to watch this fall in the nation’s real estate market:

“1. An overall pick up in housing activity. Low inventories of homes for sale in many markets have been blamed for cooling the summer months more than expected. However, more inventories are hitting U.S. markets, which could unleash some pent-up demand among buyers. At the end of August, housing inventory was at 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.5-month supply of homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That’s 4.5% higher than a year ago.

When buyers have greater options in their home shopping, they may be more likely to finally jump off the sidelines, says Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer for Ellie Mae. “The housing market is going to be a function of the economy,” Corr says. “I think we are going to see steady growth in the coming months.”

“2. Buyers are more cautious. In what most housing experts describe as a “seller’s market,” buyers are showing signs of getting more conservative with their spending, Pava Leyrer, director of training for Northern Mortgage Services in Grandville, Mich., told Bankrate.com. “They are sticking to their budgets,” she says. The past housing crisis has prompted buyers – particularly the younger generation — to be more cautious, as they’ve learned that home prices don’t always appreciate. The younger generation views a house as a place to live and not the great investment that their parents once considered, says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Forty percent of the millennial generation believes buying a home is a safe investment with great potential, compared to about 50% of boomers, according to a survey by Fannie Mae National Housing Survey.

“3. Mortgage rates will climb – really. Housing experts warned that mortgage rates would rise this year, but those forecasts have largely been wrong to this point. However, the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to start its climb to 4.5% by the fourth quarter, and continue to gradually climb and reach 5% by mid-2015. That’s prompted some lenders and real estate professionals to urge their buyers to lock in a mortgage rate now, while they are still at yearly lows.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 10-17.

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.169M.

4 price changes: Sundial #H411 1/1 now $272.5K, Seashells #33 2/2 now $319K (short sale), Seashells #36 2/2 now $325K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $337.5K.

1 new sale: Colonnades #1 1/1 listed for $195K.

Beach Walk2 closed sales: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $325K, Island Beach Club #310F 2/2 $450K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

6 new listings: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $299K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $379K, 735 Donax St 3/2 $479K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $910K, 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.149M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.625M.

6 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $369K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $449K, 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex now $449K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $449K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 now $1.295M, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 now $1.425M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 $280K, 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $550K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 $562K, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $1.7M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1182 Sand Castle Rd $199.9K.

2 price changes: 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 1311 Par View Dr now $285K.

1 new sale: 3338 West Gulf Dr listed for $410K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas 2/2 $$575K.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 now $1.885M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 listed for $275K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.375M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

flip-flopsHappy Friday, everyone! SanibelSusan