Island Sales This Week, 2018 Forecasts, & More


great-white-pelican-namibiaIt’s SanibelSusan with another weekly report of real estate happenings. You are probably sick of me blogging about Sanibel’s summer-like weather and the traffic, so just a quick update, that it’s more of the same. A mini-cool front arrived today, bringing temperatures that will be only mid-70’s for the next few days.

Sanibel-shells-from-storm-windsMeanwhile, the 81st Sanibel Shell Festival across the street from SanibelSusan Realty at The Community House appears to be a huge success. It wraps up tomorrow afternoon.

An interesting mix of articles is below, followed by the activity posting in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

  • 2018 national trends include big shifts in housing
  • good news from Sanibel police department
  • Sanibel Planning Commission ordinance action relating to pools and flood insurance
  • annual Market Watch with real estate outlook.

2018’s Top Trends

From the March 2018 “Florida Realtor®” logos

“Big Shifts in Housing…® predicts four developments this year.

  1. Inventory Will Increase. Starting in August 2017, the U.S. housing market started to see a higher-than-normal month-over-month increase in the number of homes on the market. Based on this trend,® projects that U.S. year-over-year inventory growth will tick up into positive territory by fall 2018, for the first time since 2015.
  2. Price Appreciation Will Slow. Home prices are forecasted to slow to 3.2% growth year-over-year nationally, from an estimated increase of 5.5% in 2017. Most of the slowing will be felt in the higher-priced segment as more available inventory in this price range and a smaller pool of buyers forces sellers to price competitively. Entry-level homes will continue to see price gains due to the larger number of buyers that can afford them and more limited homes available in this price range.
  3. Millennials Will Gain Market Share. Although millennials will continue to face challenges with rising interest rates and home prices, they are on track to gain mortgage market share in all price points, due to the sheer size of the generation. Millennials could reach 43% of home buyers with a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40% in 2017.
  4. Southern Markets Will Lead Sales Growth. Southern cities should beat the national average in home sales growth in 2018, with Lakeland – Winter Haven leading Florida. Sales are expected to grow by 6% or more in these markets, compared with 2.5% nationally. The majority of this growth can be attributed to healthy building levels combating the housing shortage.” 

Report from Sanibel’s Finest

santiva chronicleAn article in this week’s “Santiva Chronicle”, shows a big drop in island crime. Some of the statistics in the associated article include:

“Crime on Sanibel was down in 2017, including a huge drop in burglaries, according to statistics released Monday, Feb. 26, by Police Chief William Dalton. The police department tracked 72 federal reportable crimes in 2017, the only time in the past 11 years that that number has been below 100…

“Sanibel continues to be murder-free and no armed robberies have occurred since 2013. No vehicle thefts were reported in 2017, the only time in the past decade that has happened….

“Sanibel residents accounted for just 15% of the department’s arrests in 2017 with nearly half – 46% – coming from elsewhere in Lee County….

“Although crime numbers were down in 2017, the phone was still ringing at police headquarters. The department took in 26,140 calls. That’s an average of 72 per day or one every 20 minutes.”

Planning Commission Acts on Ordinances Re: Pools & Flood Insurance

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported this week in the “Santiva-Chronicle:

“An ordinance amending the height of a swimming pool and decks in relation to the adjoining structure was unanimously approved by the Sanibel Planning Commission at MacKenzie Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“It is a move the commission said is grounded in common sense and will help streamline approval of pools and decks. Because of the current wording, the commission was forced to hold hearings about them when their approval was a matter of common sense. It was also costly to applicants.

“Wording of the ordinance to go to the City Council for approval is: “Any swimming pool elevated higher than three feet, six inches above the ground cannot be higher than the lowest floor of the associated structure. For the purpose of this height limit, a mid-level entry or other area devoted only to building access shall not be considered the lowest floor, even if constructed above the base flood elevation.”

“The current elevation is seven feet, but that is not based on the lowest floor. The change will allow the Planning Department to grant approval without it coming to the Planning Commission, Benjamin Pople, city planner, said in his presentation of the ordinance….

“Also Tuesday, the commission unanimously approved an ordinance to go to City Council that would bring the city in line with the Florida Department of Emergency Management pertaining to flood insurance.

“The ordinance about flood insurance is mandatory to preserve the city’s status and rating as a continuing participant in the National Flood Insurance Program’s continuing rating system which benefits Sanibel residents with a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums.

“Commission members cautioned residents that flood insurance rates still apply and that 25% savings aren’t always realized if insurance companies raise rates….”

Annual Market Watch – Lee & Collier Counties

News Press logoEach year, the Fort Myers “New-Press” hosts an event, where local real estate experts share their outlook on the real estate market. Here are excerpts from their on-line article posted this week.

“A recession may be on the way, but first-time home-buyer millennials and retiring Baby Boomers looking for a deal may be coming to the rescue in Southwest Florida’s residential market.

“That was among the big takeaways Tuesday at The News-Press Market Watch Real Estate 2018 at Germain Arena, where more than 1,000 people were on hand to gauge the market pulse from industry experts.

“Presenters included Randy Thibaut, land sales and development expert and owner and founder of Land Solutions Inc.; Denny Grimes, residential real estate expert and president of Denny Grimes & Co.; and Stan Stouder, CCIM, commercial real estate expert and founding partner with CRE Consultants.

“As Thibaut entered the stage, a screen showed a roller coaster on its way up a track. “We’ve been climbing this roller coaster that’s behind me for almost nine years since the downturn,” he said. “Are we going to go up and over and are we going to lose our lunch, or are we just going to have a little hiccup? One thing is for sure: we’re going to have change.”

“Total single-family and multifamily permits increased 28% in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties year-over-year, with Lee leading the way.

“Why? “Apartments and assisted living were again on fire,” he said. “That changed the dynamics of the market.” On the home front, more buyers are looking for “value” properties, those under $300,000, and builders who cater to that demand are benefiting. “The millennials are coming and they are buying homes because they’re having families,” he said. “There’s a different type of baby boomer – they’re coming here with less money in their pockets. They’re coming. The difference is they’re not looking for $500,000 homes.”

“On the other end of the market, there’s strong demand for luxury high-rise condos in Naples and Bonita Springs, in developments such as Aqua and Seaglass at Bonita Bay. “The product came out and they gobbled it up,” Thibaut said.

“Downtown Fort Myers is a bit of a different story, where developments such as ONE, The Place on First and Prima Luce are in the works. “These projects are still trying to get started, and I think some of them will,” Thibaut said. “It hasn’t been for the lack of trying.” Market watchers should also keep a close eye on the Corkscrew Road corridor, where there are a lot of development plans.

“But ultimately, how are things? “We’re not going down into the abyss,” he said. “Are we going to have a little hiccup? I think so.”

“Prior to the event, Thibaut was asked about impact fees, which are a hot topic in Lee County. “The impact fees that are scheduled to be looked at in March will be the deciding factor over whether we’ll be able to serve our workforce and Middle America employees,” he said. “If they raise the impact fees a lot, they will hurt the biggest percentage of the buying sector. Now is not the right time for a full increase.” Thibaut said people looking to buy a home under $300,000 are the sector that “can’t afford the increase or they won’t be able to own and live the American Dream.”

“Grimes was next on stage, touching on seemingly controversial topics — fake news, the wall and DACA — in a nonconfrontational way because his points weren’t really about those topics at all.

“National headlines about the hot real estate market are giving some buyers and sellers a false perspective on the local market, which isn’t so hot. “There’s a party going on and we’re not part of it,” he said. “But that’s OK. We’ll win in the end.” The number of home sales was down 3% in Lee and up 3% in Collier year-to-year. Grimes used the words “steady” and “stable” in describing the market, with an exception here and there.

““Cape Coral was the star performer in Lee County,” he said. “Collier South is the star performer there.”

In the Cape, dry lot prices have been rising, commanding $20,000 and up, while Lehigh lot prices start at $5,000. “Cape Coral is in for another growth spurt,” Grimes said.

“Home prices, however, have hit a wall. The median sales price for an existing home was $238,500 in December, compared to $250,000 a year earlier. That median price is close to $450,000 in Collier County and $217,500 in Charlotte.

“On DACA — homes where you can dock a boat — Grimes said the cost to live on the waterfront in Cape Coral averages $479,000, not far below the cost in Fort Myers. “It’s the best waterfront value and it’s gaining on Fort Myers,” he said.

“Stouder started out by saying self-storage is going gangbusters. Eight self-storage businesses went up between 2010-14, with 12 built between 2015 and now, with another 12 under construction. “There’s a correlation between those and the robust number of apartment units being built,” he said.

“Senior housing, too, has also continued to surge. Ten senior housing projects were completed between 2000 and 2014. In the past three years, 21 senior housing projects have come to market.

A few notable projects for market-watchers to keep an eye on: Meridian Place industrial property near Southwest Florida International Airport, where a 201,000-square-feet of space is expected to be built.

“That’s a big industrial project and that’s because the vacancy rate is so low,” he said.

“Stouder also talked about the likelihood of a recession. “The stock market is having heartburn, but not a heart attack,” he said. Stouder pointed to the fact that it’s been “about eight and a half years since the last recession was declared over in June 2009,” so a recession is inevitable due to market cycles, it’s just a matter of when.

“Stouder also offered a “what’s that?” segment. In the “what’s that?” segment, market-watchers should look for the Grand Central project to come out of the ground across from Page Field Commons. That project will have the area’s first Krispy Kreme location.

“For people who might be wondering what to do with their money, whether after a property sale or because they simply want to make a smart investment, “it’s time to sell.” “How many of you wished in 2009 that you’d have sold in 2006,” he said. “If you get greedy, you will get burnt.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 23-March 2, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


6 new listings: Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $629K; St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $995K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $1.099M; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1,184,415; By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.349M; Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.824M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $529.9K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $779K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $949K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 now $1.324M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 listed at $425K, Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 listed at $455K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 listed at $598.3K (our listing), Blue Gulf #101 3/2 listed at $1.42M.

10 closed sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $235K, Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $339K, Seashells #40 2/2 $320K, Sundial West #F308 1/1 $415K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $745K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 $965K, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 $1.675M.


3 new listings: 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $574K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $735K, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.248M.

24 price changes: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex now $399K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $470K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $499K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $525K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $629K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $669K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749.9K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $764K, 5690 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3 now $979K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.165M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.22M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.275M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.65M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.679M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 now $1.749M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.799M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $2.195M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.425M

11 new sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 listed at $615K, 678 East Rocks 3/2 listed at $829K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $849K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $899K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 6412 Pine Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.245M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.895M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $5.795M.

8 closed sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $530K; 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $820K; 765 Conch Ct 5/4 $810K; 701 Anchor Dr 3/3.5 $1,186,810; 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 899 Almas Ct 3/2 $1.2M; 960 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.4595M; 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M.


1 new listing: 9232 Dimmick Dr $199,555.

3 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $219.9K, 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $689,999.

1 new sale:1312 Eagle Run Dr listed at $319K.

No closed sales. 



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $375K.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.4 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $385K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $297K, Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $645K.


1 new listings: 11540 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.625M.

3 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $995K, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.359M, 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,999.999.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 $1.475M.


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’s hoping you have good weather too! If not, come to the islands, the bougainvillea and hibiscus are blooming everywhere. It really is a paradise here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan (& please call me to help you with island real estate)


What a week – with real estate, summer weather, pickleball, spaghetti, shells, bathtubs, & more…

Lanai a

Mariner Pointe #1061, with this lanai, a fantastic interior remodel, 2 community pools, tennis, boat dockage, private fishing pier, bbq areas, plus deeded gulf beach access





SanibelSusan here, reporting more terrific summer-like weather. The island was packed with people last weekend. With the long holiday weekend, the causeway islands were jammed from Saturday through Tuesday. (Local schools were out both Monday and Tuesday). Periwinkle Way was especially slow going during the Saturday/Sunday Arts & Crafts Fair, while the on-off-island traffic in early morning, midday, and late afternoon continues to be challenging. Lotsa folks are here enjoying the wonderful weather and all the islands offer.


Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday, there was just an average turn-out for the islands Thursday Realtor® Caravan Meeting. It was a west-end Caravan which means properties from west of Tarpon Bay Road to Captiva. Only six properties where on the tour list, including an east-end canal-front home, so teammate Dave held our Lighthouse Way listing open at the same time hoping to attract some of the same lookers.

Ext Front

569 Lighthouse Way


Caravan rules permit properties on the other end of the island to be on the schedule, only where there are not enough properties signed up to fill the 15-unit maximum. Next week is East-End.

The details the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service are after a few news items below. Check out the huge number of price reductions. As season winds down, it’s a great time to buy!

Island Events


Pickleball courts at Sundial Beach Resort


  • Inaugural CAN AM Super Slam – today through Sunday, Feb 23-25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., pickleball tournament for seniors at Sundial Beach Resort & sanctioned by both the USA Pickleball Association and the Super Senior International Pickleball Association (SSIPA), free & open to the public. Because it is a SSIPA tournament, all players are 60 or older and already USAPA ranked. Competition features five age categories: 60 to 64, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79, and 80 plus, with each event broken down by “skill” or the points the players have. Based on a bracket-type of play, every event is a double-elimination round. For more info contact or call 231-676-9681. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America!
  • spaghetti dinner38th Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner – tomorrow night, Saturday, Feb 24, at The Community House, dinner served 4 to 8 p.m. followed by raffles, silent & live auctions, music, & fun. All to benefit island youth. Can’t beat the all-you-can-eat price – $11 at the door, kiddos 9 and under free.
  • Sanibel-Shell-Festival-3-Sanibel-Rentals-Photo-Courtesy-of-Sanibel-Shell-Festival81st Sanibel Shell Festival – next week, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, Mar 1, 2, and 3 at The Community house. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Saturday when it’s over at 4 p.m.
  • Octifest on The Beach – Sunday, Mar 11 at 6:30 p.m. on Causeway Island A, annual Sanibel Sea School fundraiser to purchase equipment and support outreach programs for landlocked kids. Tickets at or call 239-472-8585.

New Sanibel Sea School Offering

Sanibel Sea SchoolAs announced in the “Island Sun” this week, Sanibel Sea School has added seasonal classes for 4- to 6-year olds to the organization’s schedule of field-based marine science learning opportunities. The program will be called Sea Squirts, and will be offered through mid-April. Like the nonprofit’s classes for 6- to 13-year olds, Sea Squirts Day Camps will cover a different topic each week, and activities including crabbing, rock flipping, mud walks, and more… each class will be two hours long. More info and registration at or call 239-472-8585.

Just How Important Is a Bathtub for Resale?

From “Realtor®Mag” February 2018: “It’s long been believed that every home needs at least one bathtub to attract the widest group of buyers. But with increased interest in big, well equipped, walk-in showers, does a tub really matter that much?bathtub clip art

“Bathrooms reflect trends as much as any room in a house does. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, whirlpool tubs with multiple water jets were all the rage. They fell out of favor as many homeowners found they just didn’t use them as much as they expected to. Other users were frustrated by the time deeper tubs took to fill. Some tubs even posed health concerns due to piping that was tough to keep clean.

“The basic rectangular tub returned, although it was soon eclipsed by the oversized, deluxe shower, big enough for two and with multiple controls and rainfall heads offering a personalized experience.

“So where does this leave the bathtub? Many buyers still think they need one. But is this must-have really more akin to the desire for a separate dining room, in an era where families congregate, cook, and eat in their kitchens every day?

What About Walk-Ins?

“For the aging boomer population, the walk-in tub market continues to expand with more manufacturers offering new designs to serve their needs. The big challenge for this style is to remove the stigma of being a geriatric product, says Joe Pilato, vice president of sales and marketing for Hydro Dimensions, which helped to start the walk-in tub niche back in 2000. They offer 15 different models—most with built-in seats, easy-to-open doors, and a low threshold at the bottom—along with custom designs. “Buyers should make quality a high priority since they vary greatly from company to company,” Pilato says. He estimates fully installed designs range from $6,000 to $14,000 and says those who plan to age in place should also ensure they have a wide enough doorway to enter the bathroom using a wheelchair or walker. For real estate pros showing a listing with such a tub to younger buyers, Pilato suggests marketing it as a step-in spa.

The Must-Have POV

“Home appraiser Jonathan J. Miller, president of New York–based Miller Samuel, which tracks trends in 30 housing markets throughout the country, considers at least one bathtub a must. “The tub falls into the category of another commodity in a house. Sellers who have the most commodities—or amenities—win because their houses appeal to the widest audience and you’re always trying to expand the buyer pie,” he says.

“Los Angeles interior designer Erica Islas of EMI Interior Designs agrees, and says her clients want at least one tub or a tub-shower combination. “Some even add a bathtub before selling to improve the odds of resale,” she says. Kristie Barnett, a designer who founded The Decorologist and is a professional stager in Nashville, Tenn., is even more adamant about a tub’s importance. “There absolutely has to be at least one bathtub in any condo or home. When you sell, you’re also selling a lifestyle and having no tub will hinder a sale to most buyers,” she says.

“Research backs up the anecdotal evidence. Third-party market research firm Vital Findings, based in Culver City, Calif., found in a study commissioned by Jacuzzi Luxury Bath that 38% of U.S. residents bathe weekly and half of them are men.

another clip art bath“The need for at least one tub is most common among two specific homeowner groups. The first is young families with small children, since many parents consider a traditional tub safer than a shower, says Stephanie Mallios, a sales rep with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Short Hills, N.J. The second group is luxury home owners whose houses usually have multiple bathrooms….”

Here on the islands, unless the property is a 1-bedroom condo, a tub or tub/shower combo is a must. Big showers may be the rage, but where children and grandchildren are plentiful, and the beach is part of the lifestyle, a tub is an important and desired property feature.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 16-23, 2018



1 new listing: Sundial #Q404 2/2 $975K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $555.5K (our listing), Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.15M, Compass Point #192 2/2 now $1.175M.

6 new sales: Blind Pass #D101 2/2 listed at $439K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 listed at $474.5K, Sand Pointe #215 2/2 listed at $719K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 listed at $995K, Sanibel Seaview #C2 3/3 listed at $1.15M, High Tide #B102 2/2 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $360K, Blind Pass #D105 2/2 $407K.


15 new listings: 317 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $575K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 $699K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $725K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $725K, 2073 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $779K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $829K, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 $848K, 3320 St. Kilda Rd 4/2.5 $1.049M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 $1.195M, 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 $1.25M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 $1.67M, 2263 Starfish Ln 5/4.5 $1.699M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $2.395M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2/1 $3.999M, 3767 West Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $7.995M.

23 price changes: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $399.9K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $460K, 972 Fitzhugh St 3/2 now $454.9K, 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $519K, 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $527K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $530K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $539.9K, 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $575K, 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $609K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $635K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 now $615K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 now $655K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now $769.9K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $799K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $829K, 2490 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 now $848K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 now $985K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.3M, 2462 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.75M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.8M, 6021 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3/2 now $2.499M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 now $2.5M.

7 new sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed at $679K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 listed at $679K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 listed at $799K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 listed at $895K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.549M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

3 closed sales: 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $1.2M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 $2.9M, 4641 Belle Mer 3/2.5 $3.255M.


1 new listing: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.995M.

3 price changes: 1550 Centre St now $199K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $694K, 6000 White Heron Ln now $795K.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 now $1.195M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings

2 price changes: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,999,999; 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.495M.

No new or closed sales.


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, hope you have enjoyable weather too! & pickleball, spaghetti, shells, & bath tubs! For island real estate, give SanibelSusan a call!

Susan Andrews

Great Weather, Great Traffic, Great White Pelican, & Great Leaders

Great weather, great traffic, a Great White Pelican, and great effort by Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and other Southwest Florida leaders. Read about it all here this week.

Below are a few news items collected by SanibelSusan, followed by the action this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate

Only two sales were announced at our Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday, but many price reductions. It’s that time of the year. Here’s a summary of Sanibel’s residential inventory today. Sales are chugging along nicely.

CONDOS – No. – Average Price – Average DOM

For Sale – 101 – $745,450 – 242

Under Contract – 29 – $930,824 – 205

Sold/Closed To-date 2016 – 27 – $677,736 – 228

Sold/Closed in 2015 – 160 – $701,088 – 298

Sold/Closed in 2014 – 164 – $650,418 – 286

HOMES – No. – Average Price – Average DOM

For Sale – 157 – $1,373,993 – 225

Under Contract – 39 – $1,026,413 – 163

Sold/Closed To-date 2016 – 23 – $952,727 – 214

Sold/Closed in 2015 – 236 – $912,744 – 255

Sold/Closed in 2014 – 206 – $838,672 – 265

Note:    DOM = days on market

Sanibel & Captiva Weather Today

Sun clip artYes, the weather has been extraordinary – sunny days with mid to high 70-degree temperatures during the day with more of the same expected in the days to come.

The forecast for the next week has daytimes as warm as 81 degrees and evenings as cool as 61 degrees. How perfect is that?

79th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival

HeatherYes, it has contributed to traffic delays yesterday and today, but the 79th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival is well worth it.

MindyRecord crowds are attending the event at The Community House across the street from Sanibel Square and our office. It winds up tomorrow (Sat) from 9 to 4 p.m.  If you are on the island be sure to get there before it closes.

Congratulations to our friends who have garnered ribbons. You know who you are.

Great White Pelican Sightings

Our photographer friend, Roberta Schuldenfrei, was beside herself this week after seeing the ‘Ding” Darling refuge’s newest visitor, a Great White Pelican. It was reported that when this pelican appeared on Sunday, it may have been the first North American sighting of this bird which usually is found only in parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Word of its arrival spread quickly through the birding community with the refuge reporting record numbers of visitors as a result. Park rangers say that they don’t know why the Great White Pelican is here or where it came from. They say that it has not been banded or clipped which would indicate that it escaped from somewhere. They don’t know where it came from. Maybe it took a vacation – we know lots of snowbirds do that.

The Great White Pelican looks somewhat like the White Pelican that is a common winter resident at the refuge, but it is much larger. It feeds the same way as the White Pelicans and mingles with them. It has been seen at various points along Wildlife Drive at low tide.

The Great White is a bit pinker or rosier than the White Pelicans, according to Wikipedia, and their wing span can be from 7 to almost 12 feet.

Great White Pelican

Photo from Facebook page of Ding Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge with photo credit to Tammy McQuade

Mayors’ Progress on Water Releases

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported in the “Island Sun” today, “Less than 24 hours after returning from Washington D.C., Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and two of his fellow mayors – Marni Sawicki of Cape Coral and Randy Henderson of Fort Myers – joined three additional Southwest Florida leaders for a 2-hour workshop to discuss the progress they made in the nation’s capital regarding ongoing water issues.

“On Feb 26, Ruane, Sawicki and Henderson were joined by mayors Ben Nelson of Bonita Springs, Anita Cereceda of Fort Myers Beach and Nick Batos of Estero at MacKenzie Hall, Sanibel, where the group – along with Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman – talked about the 19 meetings they had over the course of three days in Washington….

“The trio of Lee County mayors met with Florida’s congressional delegation – including local representative Curt Clawson – as well as Senator Bill Nelson, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.

“We are committed to global solutions across geographic and partisan barriers. We continue to coalesce around long-term solutions that acquire land and move waters from Lake Okeechobee south,” Ruane reported after the 2nd day of meetings in Washington. “All of our meetings have been very productive and interactive. We are meeting in round-table formats with congressional members and their staffs. Our goal is not to just be heard but to obtain commitments to fund long-term solutions.”…

“Statement of the Problem

“The coastal communities of Lee County are once again being devastated by freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee watershed. Damaging high-volume freshwater releases are impacting the ecology of local waters, the quality of life for its citizens, the strength of area businesses, and it continues to have a lasting effect on the local economy.

“According to the mayors, these impacts are occurring as a direct result of inadequate water storage within the Kissimmee, Lake Okeechobee and Caloosahatchee watersheds and the inability to effectively move water south into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.

“Record rainfall throughout South Florida associated with strong El Nino conditions this winter have resulted in the level of Lake Okeechobee approaching 16.5 feet. To protect the communities that surround Lake Okeechobee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting high-volume regulatory releases from the lake to the coastal estuaries, with the Caloosahatchee on the west coast and the St. Lucie on the east.

“For nearly a month, weekly average freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee have been more than three times the high-flow harm threshold (9,000 cubic feet per second) and are producing lethal conditions for oysters and other economically important fish species within the estuary. The discharges are also generating a freshwater plume extends throughout Pine Island Sound and into the Gulf of Mexico, blanketing Lee County’s beaches and coastal communities with dark,, nutrient-laden water that is devastating the local tourism-based economy.

“At the workshop, each of the mayors made a pledge to inform their respective council members to ensure that everyone is “on the same page”….

“Environmental Impacts

“James Evans, Sanibel’s department of natural resources director, reported that as of Friday morning, Lake Okeechobee stood at 16.36 feet. With the freshwater flows out of the lake, ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake level dropped approximately 1.4 feet over the last week. However, 77% of the water coming out of the lake is directed toward the Caloosahatchee.

“Evans also noted that those freshwater releases will harm the upcoming spawning season for several marine species. However, this year’s plume only extends about one mile offshore from Lighthouse Beach towards Fort Myers Beach. The freshwater plume which occurred in the summer of 2013 extended more than 12 miles out into the gulf.

“Our goal is to find every opportunity for land to store water,” said Evans. “We need to be planning 10 years in advance for what happened this year….”

Lake O Releases Being Reduced

US Army Corps logoGood news on The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website yesterday:

‘The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee beginning this weekend.

“Starting Friday (March 4), the new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at Moore Haven Lock (S-77) located in the southwest part of the lake.  The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 1,800 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from rain in the St. Lucie basin could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.

““Lake levels have been falling as a result of water releases, decreased inflows, and drier conditions,” said Jim Jeffords, Jacksonville District Operations Division Chief.  “Although the lake is still uncomfortably high for this time of year, our water control plan calls for lower flows based on current conditions.  If the lake starts rising again, we may have to increase flows; it all depends on the weather.”

“Today, the lake stage is 15.83 feet, down more than a half foot since it peaked at 16.40 feet on February 8.  The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary to balance the competing needs and purposes for water in Lake Okeechobee.

“Additionally, Jacksonville District water managers are updating the formula used to calculate water flows through the spillway gates at the St. Lucie Lock structure.  When drier conditions took hold during the latter part of February, water managers noticed an anomaly.  In working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), engineers determined that the reported flows through the spillway exceeded actual flows by 1,500-2,500 cfs.

“Our reported flows exceeded what was actually passing through the spillway gates,” said Jeffords. “At our request, the USGS conducted downstream measurements at St. Lucie and we have updated our formulas for computing discharge rates accordingly.  We recognize the importance of this information and want to be sure it’s as accurate as possible.”

“For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at “

Surprising Tax Credits for Homeowners

From Realtor®Mag on-line yesterday. Also on :

Homeselfe - Logo

About Homeselfe: Homeselfe is the most comprehensive and innovative do-it-yourself home energy evaluation in the marketplace allowing energy conscious homeowners to reduce their overall consumption. Homeselfe is the number-one tool in leading America’s progression towards combating rising energy costs, cleaner sources of energy, and protecting the environment. Founded in 2014, Homeselfe was created as a patent pending technology from Energy Datametrics, one the leading providers of cutting-edge energy efficient software and technology services. Website:, Facebook:, Twitter: (PRNewsFoto/Homeselfe)

“Homeselfe, a home energy assessment app and web service for homeowners, recently released a list of several significant tax credits available to those who made energy efficiency upgrades to their homes in the 2015 tax year.

““If you upgraded your home in 2015 by adding insulation, one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can make, you already know you are saving on your utility bills every month plus you may be eligible for a tax credit on that investment,” said Ameeta Jain, co-founder and spokesperson of Homeselfe.

“The company says homeowners can earn up to $500 on their return by taking into account small upgrades made last year, including:

  • Biomass stoves
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Advanced main air-circulating fans (tax credit amount of $50)
  • Insulation (10% of the cost, up to $500)
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar earns a tax credit of $300)
  • Windows, doors and skylights (tax credit amount is 10% of the cost excluding labor)

“Homeselfe includes flowcharts and other information to help homeowners determine whether they qualify for energy-related tax credits. “Not taking advantage of that is throwing away your hard-earned cash. We want to empower families to receive the maximum refund allowed on their tax returns by providing them insight into the energy credits that are available,” says Jain.”

Source: “Do You Qualify for A Home Energy Tax Credit?” Homeselfe (Feb. 10, 2016)

The Power of Pets

PetsAs a dog lover and because it was my grand-dog’s birthday this week, I got a kick out of reading this article in Wednesday’s Realtor®Mag. We recently had a home listing go under contract to a condo owner who wanted to move to a home so that she could get a dog. This article describes how times are changing.

“The real estate business traditionally has shown scant love for pets. The conventional wisdom held that sellers should conceal all traces of their dogs or cats—the toys, bowls, beds, even the animals themselves—when prepping a home for sale. But those hardline messages are clearly softening, as pets become a plus in the marketing of homes for sale.

“The reason for the shift has a lot to do with the numbers: Pet power is rising. Currently 65% of households own a pet, up from 56% in 1988. A record-breaking 79 million U.S. households now own a pet, according to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association. Indeed, 83% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family, according to a Packaged Facts research report.

“For real estate practitioners, addressing that pet love means helping buyers scout for homes that meet the needs of their pets or working with sellers to leverage their home’s pet appeal.

“In fact, pet-friendly agents have found one another—and consumers—on a growing national social platform called the Pet Realty Network. The network, launched in 1997, now boasts about 300 members who pay $30 annually to be included in the directory and can add to its pet-friendly listings.

““I think the days of hiding your pet are over,” says Rhona Sutter, sales associate with Downing Frye Realty Inc. in Naples, Fla., and founder of the network. “You may not want the boisterous Labrador running to the door to greet a home buyer, but quite honestly, a home that is pet-friendly is an advantage for a house nowadays.”

“The pet advantage is notable at every price point. For a $5 million listing in 2013, the Boutique Real Estate Group in Corona Del Mar, Calif., produced a video showing off a luxury 6,300-square-foot, six-bedroom home all from the perspective of a French bulldog named Rocco. The bulldog even wore a custom-made suede collar in the video, inscribed with the property’s URL, Raj Qsar, owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, says the idea to star Rocco in the video, which came about after the dog took a liking to his team as they toured the space, helped him secure the listing. “They loved the idea,” he says.

“Joining the pet craze, home builders are touting pet-accommodating floor plans, such as those with pet nooks in mudrooms. Also, luxury condo buildings are marketing amenities to pet-loving households, offering rooftop pet parks and spas (complete with “pawdicures”), dog-bone-shaped swimming pools, pet fitness yoga classes and treadmill sessions, and even “yappy hours” social mixers.

“Coldwell Banker last year launched a national campaign called “home’s best friend,” teaming up with Its brokerages partnered with shelters and rescue groups to hold events nationwide in an effort to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs.”

8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

This Old House logoThis was posted on “Daily Real Estate News” last Friday.

“Home owners can overdo it when it comes to the upkeep of their home. This Old House recently spotlighted several ways that home owners’ enthusiasm for home ownership may actually harm the house.

  1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage can be dangerous, particularly with incandescent or halogen lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. “Using a bulb with too-high wattage will cause the fixture and its wiring to overheat,” he notes, which could then allow the heat to travel to the wall or erode the insulation on the wires and lead to a house fire. Check the fixtures label to make sure you use the correct wattage.
  2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could be putting your slab at risk. As these trees grow taller, their roots will go outward, potentially pushing up the paving and causing it to buckle or crack. This Old House recommends planting small trees that will remain under 20 feet at maturity and that are at least 10 feet from paved areas. For larger trees, leave at least a 20-foot radius.
  3. Over scrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. “Cleaners with a grit or grain to them will wear away at the finish and dull it,” Kohler‘s Mike Marbuch told This Old House. “That will make the sink more prone to gunk sticking to it—actually making it look dirtier.” Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.
  4. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Recessed lighting is known as causing heat-sucking air leaks, especially when the fixtures are unsealed in vaulted ceilings. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC). Also, use as few recessed lights as you can, especially when it comes to adding them to cathedral ceilings or in rooms directly below unconditioned attics.
  5. Spreading too much mulch outside. “Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. “If you’ve mulched so much that tree trunks and flowers’ and shrubs’ lower branches are covered by or dragging in it, you’ve gone overboard.” Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.
  6. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes. The black edge can occur from using ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners. This Old House recommends using warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth to clean mirrors. Or if you do use the sprays, spray it onto a dry cloth first and not directly onto the glass.
  7. Repainting too much. “Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100% acrylic-resin exterior paint.
  8. Fertilizing too much. Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency warns over-fertilizing can cause “nutrient pollution,” which is when nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from lawn fertilizers and then leads to an overgrowth of algae that can even pollute local waterways. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.”

Source: “19 Ways You’re Killing Your Home With Kindness,” This Old House (February 2016)

Tickets for BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts

BIG Arts logoIf you are looking for a little listening pleasure at the end of the month, the time is now to get your tickets for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concert. Since the group’s two evening performances have sold out in recent years, this year an afternoon matinee has been added to the schedule.

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare, the program includes tunes from Broadway to merry old England with songs from around the world including selections from West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate, and a special commissioned piece by composer Gregory Brown.

Tickets are available now at the BIG ARTS Box Office. $10 for adults. Kids and students are free. Performances are in BIG ARTS Schein Performance Hall on Mar 29 at 7 p.m., Mar 30 at 2 p.m., and Mar 31 at 7 p.m. SanibelSusan sings with the altos and with the Ensemble too. Hope to see you there!

2016 Spring Concert Flier

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 26 – March 4, 2016



4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $529K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 $595K, Donax Village #14 2/2 $569K, Loggerhead Cay #181 2/2 $725K.

9 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $375K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $449K, Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 now $499.9K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $539K, Surfside 12 #A2 3/2 now $699K, Sunset South #12C 2/2 now $784K, Sanibel Surfside #117 2/2 now $965K, Sanibel Seaview #A1 3/3 now $1.249M, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.285M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 listed at $539K, Sundial East #O402 2/2 listed at $655K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 listed at $985K, Wedgewood #306 3/3.5 listed at $1.379M.

4 closed sales: Seashells #33 2/2 $270K (short sale); Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 $519.75K (our listing & sale); Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 $634K; High Tide #B101 2/2.5 $1,750,125.

MP Bayside Pool

Bayside pool at Mariner Pointe just outside #411



14 new listings: 748 Marthas Ln 3/2 $509K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $575K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 $699K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $749K, 1438 Albatross Rd 4/3 $779K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/3 $789K, 1487 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $814K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 $829K, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $839K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.119M, 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.349M, 824 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.395M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1.398M.

14 price changes: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $549K; 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $599,998; 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $699.9K; 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $899K; 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $945K; 232 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.389M; 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 now $1.479M; 4014 West Gulf Dr 3/2/2 now $1.595M; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.795M; 1688 Hibiscus Dr 3/4 now $1.849M; 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.899M; 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 now $2.299M; 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 now $2.395M; 911 Strangler Fig Ln 4/3 now $2.695M.

7 new sales: 3301 Twin Lakes Ln 2/2 listed at $599K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 listed at $759K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 345 East Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 979 Oyster Ct 2/2 listed at $940K, 1111 Schooner Pl 3/3 listed at $949.5K, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 listed at $1.445M.

6 closed sales: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $434,716; 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $505K; 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $570K; 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 $905K; 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 $2.05M; 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 $4.3M.


Nothing to report.



1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3227 1/1 $287K.

3 price changes: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $244K, Bayside Villas #4202 1/2 now $310K, Tennis Villas #3131 2/2 now $410K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #1B 3/3 $1.1M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1.378M, 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2.344M.

1 new sale: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 listed at $1.049M.

No closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 16297 Captiva Dr listed at $1.549M.

No new or closed sales.

(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 hoping great things continue!

Happy weekend, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Read Why SanibelSusan’s Friday Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate Blog is Late

SanibelBeachAnother Friday has arrived and SanibelSusan is not going to dwell on the additional heavy traffic on Periwinkle Way from the Shell Fair which ends tomorrow. To put a positive spin on it, for those properties that we don’t already open for showings, my team and I are offering delivery service to Realtors® needing keys or fliers.

This week, island weather likely again contributed to the many visitors enjoying the 70- and 80-degree temperatures, sunny days, blue skies, and also the gorgeous moon-glow skies at night. A favorite photos from island photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography is above. The beach looked just like this week, including this afternoon.

Although not many sales were announced at the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, many were posted in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Several price reductions were reported too, common for the end of February with just a few weeks left of “high season”.

At SanibelSusan Realty, we are showing property, holding open houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts like crazy! We love it and hopefully will have some new sales to add the Multiple Listing Activity next week. That is why SanibelSusan’s blog is a few hours late.

Meanwhile, the island listing/sales activity over the past seven days follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Dark Skies Ordinance Passes Unanimously

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported today in the “Island Sun”: This week, Sanibel City Council approved the revised Dark Skies Ordinance, ending 13 months of revisions, adjustments and “fine tuning” by the planning commission, city staff, and public input. The ordinance was established to protect the natural beauty of the island’s night skies as well as its habitat for a variety of animals, particularly sea turtles during nesting season. Beach-front properties and new construction already are required to be compliant. Non-beachfront properties have until January 1, 2018. Read the ordinance, its requirements and view a video about it at

Why Canada’s Snowbirds Are Under U.S. Scrutiny

TRC LOGORSPS LogoIsland sellers often ask their Realtors® if they do much business with out-of-country buyers. Thankfully SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certified) and RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) designations often result in referral business that comes from over the border or across the pond.

For those readers wondering about the implications of Canadian residents spending their winters in Florida, here is an article that was posted in the February RSPS Newsletter and published earlier in “Reuters” on February 10.

“Canadians who normally head south of their border for warmer weather are keeping closer track of their time in the United States because if they stay too long, they could lose their Canadian health benefits and might owe U.S. income tax.

“Just last year, the two countries implemented an agreement to scan passports and share the information, meaning that, unlike in past years, America’s tax authorities now know exactly how long snowbirds are spending in warmer climes like Florida, California and Arizona.

“And that has many worried Canadians monitoring their stay on American soil. People like 74-year-old former TV producer Richard Simpson, who stays in Fort Myers, Florida, from the end of October through April, then heads back to Toronto. “People have this fear in the back of their heads about playing it too loose, and spending too much time down here,” he said. “Whenever there’s a ‘Canada Night’ gathering, it’s the No.1 topic of conversation.”

“The magic number is 182 days in a single year. More than that, and Canadians risk being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. If Canadians overstay their welcome, they risk creating a U.S. claim on their worldwide income, getting barred from the country for five years and losing prized health care, according to Dale Walters, the Phoenix-based chief executive officer of KeatsConnelly, a financial planning firm that specializes in cross-border issues.

“Even less than 182 days, though, and they still might meet what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service calls its “substantial presence” test. It is a complicated formula, but if snowbirds spend more than roughly 120 days per year in the United States over a three-year period, the IRS starts getting interested in them.

“”The technology has finally gotten to the point where they can track border crossings easily,” said Walters. “Snowbirds are very aware of this. Some of them have become pretty paranoid about it.”

“But the lure of a warmer climate can be very powerful indeed. Canadians purchased U.S. properties worth $13.8 billion in the 12 months leading up to March 2014, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. That makes for 15% of all international sales. Canadians’ favorite spots, perhaps not surprisingly: Florida, Arizona and California, making for almost three-quarters of all their purchases.

“More than 500,000 Canadians own real estate in Florida alone, according to BMO Financial Group Swhose Annual Snowbird Outlook – issued last October – predicts continued gains for snowbird homeowners.

“The pace of those home purchases will likely slow, thanks to a falling Canadian dollar that has seen the loonie sink to around 80 U.S. cents. For those who have already purchased in the United States, the combination of rising real-estate prices and a U.S. dollar-denominated asset has proved to be a clever hedge indeed. “For Canadians who bought a couple of years ago, they have already gained 20% on the rising U.S. dollar alone,” says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “At the same time, home prices in many areas also rose double digits. So it was an excellent time to buy.”

“Compared to record-high Canadian real estate in hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver, housing in the American sunbelt is still attractively priced, the BMO report notes.

“So how can snowbirds avoid running afoul of the authorities, and not jeopardize their Canadian status or attract the scrutiny of the IRS? Many have been tweaking their calendars already, says KeatsConnelly’s Walters. While typical snowbirds used to return to Canada in April, he says, many have now shifted earlier to March.

Some, like Simpson, throw some cruising into the mix to pad their schedules. Since a March or April return to Canada can still be on the chilly side, Simpson sometimes leaves Florida to keep under the 182-day limit, but then takes an international cruise until things warm up.

“Also, know the letter of the law. Even if snowbirds meet the IRS’ “substantial presence” test, for instance, they can still fill out the agency’s Form 8840. It asserts closer connections to Canada, and should stave off any potential problems.

“Finally, when crossing the border, Walters advises that snowbirds come equipped with a “border kit” that proves Canadian residency in multiple ways – things like utility bills and property-tax statements. As for Richard Simpson, he does not regret leaving his homeland behind, at least for the coldest parts of the year. “Whenever I see the Canadian weather on TV, I think, ‘Thank God I’m here in Florida, and thank God I’m wearing shorts.'””

McMansions Remain a Hot Buy

realtor logoRealtor®Mag posted this article late last week on its “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Existing-home sales mostly fell flat in January, but a closer look at the data shows one segment of the market is seeing a lot of activity. McMansions – those traditionally large homes in the $750,000 to $1 million range – saw a sales growth rate of 13% in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That is the fastest growth rate of any other home price range.

“NAR’s latest housing reports:Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015 and Tight Supplies Put Home Prices on the Move. “It’s a reflection of the U.S. economy where the upper end has done much better in this recovery in terms of income,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told MarketWatch.

“As the stock market hits new highs, the luxury buyer is continuing to be a strong player in the housing market this year. Last year, the million-dollar plus segment had the strongest growth. “Now, it’s the next level that is beginning to pick up,” Yun says.

“As for more traditional buyers, they may be locked in to their current home. Home owners who snagged low interest rates may be reluctant to trade up or move on unless job or family changes press them to, Yun notes. That’s how he explains why the strengthening job market as well as rent growth is not currently leading to a stronger housing market than expected. “People may be delaying two years, four years before returning to normal moving patterns,” Yun says.”

Nearly 80% of Housing Markets Are Stabilizing

FreddieMacLogo_3Here is some more good news, also from the last Thursday “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are now showing an improving three-month trend in housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index. What’s more, 40 of the 50 major metros Freddie Mac tracks are also showing a three-month improving trend.

“Yet, Freddie Mac’s national MiMi value stands at 74.9, which still indicates a weak housing market overall. The all-time MiMi high was 121.7, recorded in April 2006; its lowest point was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest point. Since its low in 2010, the housing market has rebounded 31%.

Freddie Mac’s MiMi index monitors the stability of the nation’s housing market by assessing each single-family housing market relative to its long-term stable range. It takes into account such data as home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgage payments, and the employment market.

Overall, “housing markets are getting back on track,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80% of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. … Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.””

Sanibel Island Survival Camps for Teens

Sanibel Sea schoolAnother article in the “Island Sun” today caught my eye. Makes me wish to be a teenager again.

This summer Sanibel Sea School is offering three weeks of survival camp for teens (13- to 18-year olds) yearning to embark on an adventure. Can they endure a night on the island with only a fishing net, a coconut, and a paddleboard? Sound like fun?

Each week the group will venture into the lesser-known places on Sanibel for a week of exploration. Attendees will learn the basics of paddle-boarding, and then learn survival skills that will be as useful in a city as on a desert island. Tire changing races, fire starting contests, and shelter-building competitions are all part of the plan, along with basic first aid and figuring out how to find food and water in the wilderness. One night, they will paddle out to camp on Picnic Island and put their new skills to the test, where conditions will be primitive, bugs will be many, and memories should be everlasting. Each week will be different so teens can attend just one or sign up for the series. The sessions are June 22-28, June 29-July 3, July 13-17. Register on-line at

Sanibel-Captiva Art League Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleProperty owners often ask us when the “clothesline show” will be this year.

That event is an excellent time to purchase island art from San-Cap Art League Members. I just heard that this year, the sale will be Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House (across the street from SanibelSquare and SanibelSusan Realty).

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 27-Mar 6 



4 new listings: Colonnades #41 1/1 $194.5K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $535K, Sundial #H303 2/2 $589K, Seascape #301 3/3 $1.315M.

3 price changes: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $269K, Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 now $449K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $725K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed for $490K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 listed for $549.9K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 listed for $825K, Atrium #204 2/2 listed for $1.295M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 $310K, Lighthouse Point #113 2/2 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $630K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $580K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #307 3/2 $880K.


8 new listings: 5131 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 $535K, 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 $535K, 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 $1.1M, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $1.15M, 1220 Morningside Place 5/5 multi-family $1.198M, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.598M, 3675 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $4.4M.

9 price changes: 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $598.5K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $629.9K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $689K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $815K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 now $850K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $945K.

10 new sales: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $279K, 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $399K, 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family listed for $449K, 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $510K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 listed for $739K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 listed for $1.149M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.5M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M.

10 closed sales: 938 Palm St 3/2 $390K, 1717 Windward Way 3/2 $635K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 $745K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 4/3 $875K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $890K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $970K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.4M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.9M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.


No new listings.

5 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $214,555; 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $245K; 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed for $429K.

1 closed sale: 2379 Wulfert Rd $300K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $629K.

1 new sale: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 listed for $650K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.69M.

4 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.099M,16251 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $3.595M, 15891 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $3.649M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.9M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16950 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

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.


Thinking of island real estate? Contact a member of The SanibelSusan Team, we are working close to 24/7 this time of the year (not really, but at least 12/7!

‘Til next Friday, SanibelSusan