June Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s another sunny Friday on Sanibel, following another week of fantastic weather until the first summer shower gave us a quick dousing this morning. Maybe the rainy season has begun. We don’t like using the “h” word, but that season has begun too (Jun 1 to Nov 30).

Meanwhile, the gulf and bay waters surrounding the islands are a brilliant blue and sparkling green. The color and clarity changes each summer when the rains stir up the sand and vegetation along the waterways, so it always pays to enjoy this view when you can.

With swimming pools already needing extra water and some grassy buffers along the bike paths looking like straw, rain is needed. The typical pattern for this time of the year is a quick daily shower or two. As the saying goes in Florida in the summer, “wait a minute and the weather will change.” Summer sunsets following a shower are the best.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, we appreciated a nice closing on Monday and several of our listings continue to get good interest and showing activity. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow some news below.

There was no Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday, but I had 15 Realtors® there attending my “Resort & 2nd Home Market” class on Monday. It always is fun to share with colleagues. If we all do a better job, it helps everyone.

Attendees wearing their pop quiz prizes from 2019 Resort & 2nd Home class of the SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) designation. SanibelSusan instructing.

Summer Projects & Other Scoop

Il Cielo at 1244 Periwinkle Way –A sign says “closed for renovations, reopening in the fall”.

Malia Island Fusion Cuisine at 1100 Par View Drive in Beachview Estates, next to Sanibel Golf Club – Tried to celebrate our Monday closing there for lunch but found out that they have new summer hours. Open Mon-Thu from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Open Fri & Sat from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Pointe Santo at 2445 West Gulf Dr – Will finish up their concrete-restoration building-exterior project late summer/early fall. Buildings A, B, D, and E are done with the work accomplished during the “off season” to least affect vacations and rentals. The spalling work in Building C is scheduled this year between Aug 11 and Oct 19.

View from Pointe Santo #C43. Make an offer now & seller agreeable to closing after summer restoration work is done.

Sanibel Delivery opened yesterday according to a recent article in the “Islander”. It’s an interesting concept. Sanibel Delivery will pick up and drop off take-out orders from restaurants, grocery and convenience store items, pet food and supplies, legal documents and run bank errands, pick up flowers, take packages to and from the post office or shipping stores, get ice, drinks, prescriptions. It also will stock a residence before an arrival or pick up items for donations. Sanibel Delivery services just Sanibel, not Captiva or west of Clam Bayou Ln/Pine Tree Dr. Operating Tues through Sun from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To schedule a delivery, call or text 239-308-5353 or email david@sanibeldelivery.com.

Condo Q&A: Who’s Responsible for Water Damage?

Since a condo owner recently asked me this same question, it was timely to read the below article posted this week on-line at FloridaRealtors®. Maybe this is of interest to you too:

“By Steven J. Adamczyk

“June 3, 2019 – Question: A unit owner in our building suffered water damage in his unit due to a clog in his drain pipes. He is claiming that the association should pay for all of the repairs inside the unit. Coincidentally, this owner does not have insurance and the drains have otherwise been working fine. Is there any merit to the owner’s claim? – T.R, Deerfield Beach

“Answer: Any time there is water damage, the first question is whether the damage is the result of an insurable event. When there is an insurable event, the statute will dictate who is responsible for what damage. Likewise, if there is no insurable event, the declaration of condominium will dictate who is responsible for what damage.

Here, we will assume it was an insurable event. If so, the statute provides that the condominium association is responsible to repair and replace property insured by the condominium association. With this type of damage, it means the association will likely repair and replace drywall, but the statute then provides that the owner is responsible to repair and replace interior portions of the unit such as kitchen cabinets, floor coverings, paints, and personal property such as furniture within the unit.

“It is possible that the above delegation of responsibility can be shifted so that one party is responsible for everything. Under the statute, this can happen if one party is negligent or if they fail to follow a rule.

For example, if the association had been notified that the common element pipes had been malfunctioning for a long time and the association ignored the problem, it is possible the association would be responsible for everything, assuming the damage here was the result of that ignored common element problem. Likewise, if the rules prohibit shoving paper towels down a drain and the clog was due to these paper towels, the owner could be responsible for all damage.

“We often see these aggressive accusations when there is no insurance for the obvious reason that the owner knows the association has insurance. That being said, it is highly unlikely that you are responsible for all of the damage, and you should consult with your attorney and insurance carrier to determine the extent of your responsibilities.

“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC, respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.”

Captiva Testing Iguana Removal Program

This article came from today’s “Island Sun”: “A pilot program funded by the Captiva Community Panel (CCP) is addressing the iguana problem currently plaguing the island. “The (iguana) issue came up at one of our panel meetings, and it’s been a topic of conversation for a while,” said Dave Jensen, CCP board member. “People have been seeing iguanas on their properties, and they can do some damage.”

“According to Jensen, he called the City of Sanibel to investigate how the neighboring community addresses their invasive species issue. They city’s department of natural resources put him in touch with Alfredo Fermin of AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services, a professional trapper based in Cape Coral.

“Iguanas are very aggressive… they have a nasty bite and their tails can hurt you, too,” said Fermin, who has more than 10 years of experience trapping wildlife. “They can tear up your garden, they burrow near seawalls which causes a lot of damage, and their poop is dangerous because they carry diseases….”

“Iguanas can grow up to six feet long, have no natural predators. One female may lay between 40 and 70 eggs at a time, and the species is a direct threat to burrowing owls.”

“One month ago, the CCP agreed to hire AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services to come to Captiva, trap and remove nuisance iguanas. The pilot program requests that island residents give permission to Fermin to access their property and remove the iguanas.

“On his first visit to Captiva on May 7, Fermin visited 20 properties and removed 21 iguanas. Since then, he has returned to more than 50 properties and eliminated 56 iguanas.

“If you don’t know what you are doing, it can be nearly impossible to catch them,” said Fermin, who uses a noose bar to snare the iguanas. “It’s still too early to give an estimate on the number of iguanas there are on Captiva, but I’ll be out there every Tuesday until the funds run out.”

“Jensen added that if AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services determines that there is an overpopulation of iguanas on Captiva, the CCP will request that Lee County assist with the funding of the removal program.

“To give permission for AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Service to access your island property, call Dave Jensen at 470-5389. For iguana-specific questions, contact Alfredo Fermin via email at AAAWildlife1@yahoo.com or by calling 440-7783.”

Families & Friends of The Sanibel School

The Sanibel School (Elementary & Middle) (A Florida School of Excellence & nationally rated Blue Ribbon school) currently is accepting students and approving off-island attendance waivers.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 31 – June 7, 2019



2 new listings: Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $1.1M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.6M.

9 price changes: Sundial #H210 1/1 now $379K; Blind Pass #E202 2/2 now $450K; Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $597K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $674K; Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $749,999; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 now $759.9K; Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $799K; Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 now $899.5K, Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 now $1.231M.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 listed at $399K, Sundial #G405 1/1 listed at $419,555; Sundial #C310 1/1 listed at $459,750; Sundial #J204 2/2 listed at $793K.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $510K, Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 $585K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 $680K, White Sands #25 2/2 $957K.


2 new listings: 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $685K, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.375M.

6 price changes: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $639K, 1550 Centre St 3/2 now $645K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $949K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.6399M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.299M, 4709 Rue belle Mer 3/2 now $3.125M.

5 new sales: 9052 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 listed at $650K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799.9K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.189M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.747M.

2 closed sales: 5869 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $589K (our buyer), 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 $800K.


Nothing to report.



No new listings, price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Captiva Cove #C 5/4 $3.475M.


1 new listing: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/6 $5.5M.

1 price change: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $998,899.

2 new sales: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 listed at $995K, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 listed at $2.695M.

No 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, make it a great one! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Easter Blessings Abound On Sanibel

It’s SanibelSusan, reporting about another fun week on the islands. Many end-of-season events are wrapping things up and the spring weather here has been perfect – bright sunny warm breezy days, mostly in the 70’s, with gorgeous sunsets, followed by mild evenings.

Susan Yard 03-18-16


Lots of families and visitors are here on spring breaks and Easter vacations, so there has been lots of roadway traffic. Bike paths are busy too. Adding to that, Vice President Pence arrived yesterday and is expected to be here until next Friday enjoying Sanibel. (My lips are sealed as to which client’s home he is visiting.)

We’ve had plenty of action in the office too, with sales processing toward closings, others in-the-works, and our listings getting good action. After a few news items, below is the activity reported this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

March Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Congressman Francis Rooney – It was standing room only at 8 a.m. yesterday at the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting. That’s because the speaker was Congressman Francis Rooney who came to update us on several important issues that affect our business.

arter rooney corace 03-30-18

Association affiliate member Dave Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, Congressman Rooney, & 2017 Association President Dustyn Corace

SanCap Mtg 03-29-18

Rooney is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district which covers parts of Lee and Collier counties. He lives in Naples where he and his family have a base of diversified international group of companies that have created many jobs and economic opportunities in SW Florida and throughout the U.S. He also served many years as an U.S. ambassador.

His down-to-earth presentation cut right to the chase, explaining how the fight for water quality continues with good progress made in recent legislation, but often without the necessary appropriations. Attendees including Realtors®, business affiliates, and local leaders were encouraged to push with property owners to also contact their congressional leaders, not just here, but in other states to likewise recognize the importance of this resource and what must be done and funded to ensure its continuity. Segments from his pitch were included in a TV report last night on “water quality” that appeared on Wink News.

Congressman Rooney also briefly mentioned how the Federal flood insurance program has been extended until July. But, since it is now out of the federal budget package, could be in jeopardy. (You can be sure that local, state, and national Realtors® organizations are closely following that too.)

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® Honor Society – At the same meeting, five members of the local association were recognized by Florida Realtors® for achieving 2017 Honor Society. I am one of the lucky five – recognized for making the achievement for the 19th year.

FishFood for F.I.S.H. – Realtors® and attendees were reminded that in April the Association is collecting non-perishable food items to help F.I.S.H. of San-Cap replenish their food pantry which often gets low when the island thins out. Snowbirds and owners heading home for the summer are reminded to drop items at F.I.S.H. or call your Realtor® or SanibelSusan Realty. We will gladly pick your items up and get them delivered to the food pantry – or drop them off here at 2242 Periwinkle Way, Suite 3.

Upcoming Eventseaster61

  • 24th Annual Spring Festival – tomorrow March 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. hosted by The Children’s Education Center of the Islands, held at the Community Park, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty.
  • Easter Egg Hunt – tomorrow March 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church. In addition to the hunt – for 2,500 pre-filled eggs, there will be games, crafts, bounce house, storytelling, & free lunch.
  • 7th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza – tomorrow March 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Island Inn, both inside and outside activities (those inside at Traditions on the Beach).
  • BIG ARTS Chorus Spring Concerts – Wednesday April 4 and Thursday April 5 at 7 p.m. at Schein Performance Hall. It usually sells out, so get tickets at www.bigarts.org. SanibelSusan is in the alto section.

Living Shoreline Approved Along Woodring Road

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel Planning Commission meeting, approval was given for a project between the City of Sanibel and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to create a living shoreline along the eroded section of Woodring Road right-of-way. According to a report in the “Island Sun”:

us fISH & WILDLIFE LOGO“The project seeks to rebuild approximately 170 linear feet of existing rip-rap and stabilize approximately 710 linear feet of existing vegetated shoreline by the installation of “living shoreline”, an erosion control structure comprised of rip-rap, concrete pipes and “reefballs” …which provide additional protection from wave energy created by wind, waves, and boat wakes…The City has budgeted $200,000 for the project, which will likely go out for bids in late April, then be brought before Sanibel City Council in May or June…once approved, the project would be completed this summer in 30 to 45 days….”

Great American Cleanup – Sanibel Canals

Here’s a little scoop from Facebook:

kEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL“Join Coastal Keepers and the Ocean Tribe Paddlers on Saturday, April 21st for The Great American Cleanup, an initiative created by Keep America Beautiful. This is a paddle-based cleanup, so we will travel through Sanibel’s east end canals via paddlecraft, gathering litter along the way. If you do not have a paddlecraft, Ocean Tribe Paddlers has a limited number of loaner paddleboards and kayaks available.

“We will meet at Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus at 8 AM for a briefing, then divide into small groups before driving to the Sanibel Boat Ramp to launch our vessels. Parking is available there for a small fee. All cleanup materials will be provided. After the event, participants are invited to return to Sanibel Sea School for refreshments.

“To register for The Great American Cleanup, please go to http://klcb.org/great-american-cleanup.html and choose Sanibel Canals as your location. We kindly ask that you register online in advance to help our friends at Keep Lee County Beautiful measure participation. To reserve a paddleboard or kayak, please contact oceantribepaddlers@sanibelseaschool.org before the event.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 23-30, 2018



2 new listings: Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $760K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $799K.

5 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $699K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $729K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 now $779K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $899K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.435M.

5 new sales: Seashells #42 2/2 listed at $379.9K, Sundial West #F306 1/1 listed at $465K, Sundial East #P204 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $968.5K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 listed at $1.045M.

5 closed sales: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $288K, Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $274K, Sanibel Seaview #C2 3/3 $920K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $935K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $1.295M.


5 new listings: 8991 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 $875K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 $895K, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 $1.38M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.699M, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.495M.

14 price changes: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $515K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $659K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 now $689K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $699K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 now $879.5K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $949.9K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.099M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.145M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.155M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 now $1.159M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.649M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.894M.

11 new sales: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $379.9K, 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 listed at $469K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $609K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 727 Birdie View Pt 3/2 listed at $779K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $998K (our listing), 330 East Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.15M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $1.195M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 listed at $1.875M.

8 closed sales: 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $360K, 1425 Causey Ct 4/3 $660K, 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $675K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $830K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $885K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 $885K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 $875K, 4649 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 $2.45M.


2 new listing: 978 Main St $184.9K, 2288 Starfish Ln $549K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $239.8K.

1 closed sale: 2998 Singing Wind Dr $150K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $399.9K.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #302 3/3 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $975K.

No 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.

happy-easter4Happy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


Another Week of Fabulous Island Weather

All is well again this week at SanibelSusan Realty. Another seven days of beautiful sunny warm weather have kept most visitors busy with outdoor activities. The following photos, I snapped with my cell phone this morning at Beach Access #6 on Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive.

Access 6 #1Access 6 #2

Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Realtors June Membership Meeting

San Cap LogoYesterday was the June monthly breakfast membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, a good opportunity for me to announce our new listing at Casa Ybel Resort. The condo was photographed professionally this week so it now is officially on the market.

The following slide show includes the unit and several resort amenities. Click the “Cottage Colony West #136” tab above for more details and a streaming video. This beach-front condo grossed over $92K last year in the easy on-site rental program.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The educational part of yesterday’s Realtor® meeting was a presentation by Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra, and Lt. Bill Dalton of the Sanibel Police Department. Covering “hurricane season preparedness”, they offered some good and timely advice. Here are some of my take-aways:

Lt. Dalton described a study which determined the five areas of the nation that are the hardest to leave during a mandatory evacuation. Here are the worst five – a good example of when it’s not good to be in 1st position – but our area is, so this is a good reminder to leave early when a storm is heading this way.

  1. Southwest Florida – because of few east/west roadways & limited north/south evacuation routes.
  2. Tampa Bay area – high population & also few ways of egress
  3. Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area – population
  4. New York/New Jersey – population
  5. Southeast Florida – population.

Another interesting tidbit is that there is a Lee County ordinance that says all county bridges must be closed when wind speed reaches 40 mph. That info brought a question from the floor which was “How do we get over the Caloosahatchee River bridges after leaving the islands.” Answer: “Leave early – before they are closed.” Yikes! That may be a good reason to leave when evacuation is recommended, but before it is mandatory.

Hurricane Charley in 2004 brought high wind to Southwest Florida. (Lt. Dalton reported that the City wind gauge broke when it recorded 143 mph, so the exact top wind speed is unknown.) Charley was a relatively small fast- moving storm. When compared to other larger and slower-moving past storms, if Charley had stayed longer, the storm surge here could have been as much as 17-23 feet, and damage could have covered a much broader area. Good reason to check your insurance coverage now! Hurricane season has begun!

Sanibelcityseal logoIf you are interested in receiving emergency Sanibel notifications, go to the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com and click on the link in the right hand column called “Code Red”. Code Red, Rapid Emergency Notification System, is an emergency telephone network which will text, call, or email you with information whenever the City turns the system on to report an emergency situation. Examples could include: evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices, and missing child reports.

If you are here in the summer or fall, now also is a good time to get your island reentry passes. These have not been needed since after Hurricane Charley, but you will need an up-to-date pass to get back on the island following an evacuation. There are separate passes for residential and commercial and these hang from your rear view mirror (or remain safely in your glove box until needed – hopefully never). Info about these passes also on www.MySanibel.com and at the Sanibel Police Department.

1st Annual National Shell Day a Success

The 1st Annual National Shell Day, a marketing effort in partnership with the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau and promoters of tourism at the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, was the talk of the islands on Monday.

“Good Morning American” weather gal, Ginger Zee, reported live over a 2-hour span from the beach at Sundial Resort where she not only reported the country’s weather, but also introduced their national audience to the “Sanibel stoop”, to Lola (a disabled American kestrel who lives at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and to mollusks from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

Garnering the most attention was the Shell Love Bug, which is a used Volkswagen Beetle convertible which was transformed into a sailor’s valentine on wheels thanks to Pam Rambo of ILoveShelling.com and a group of volunteers. (The photos below are from Pam’s web site.)

The Shell Love Bug is traveling around the county this week to promotional events. Here are some fun facts about its creation:

  • $7,000 cost of the 2005 Beetle
  • 20,000+ shells glued onto car
  • 65+ varieties of local shells
  • 60+ volunteers who transformed the car
  • 60+ tubes of “Marine Goop” adhesive for attaching the shells!

Americans Are Feeling Wealthier, More Upbeat

realtor logo“Realtor®Mag” on line on Monday has the following article sourced to “Daily Real Estate News” and “Fannie Mae”:

“Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index zoomed to an all-time high in May as consumers get more upbeat about their paychecks and home selling. In May, the index reached a reading of 85.3, which follows an 18-month low reached in March.

“Three of six components the index measures registered increases last month, led by a 7 percentage point increase in the number of consumers reporting significantly higher income than a year ago. Also, the number of consumers who expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months rose 5 percentage points. Consumers were also upbeat that mortgage rates would decrease over the next year as well.

fannie-mae-logo“That said, the index indicator on whether it’s a “good time to buy” dropped 1 percentage point to an all-time survey low in May.

““Continued home price appreciation has been squeezing housing affordability, driving a two-year downward trend in the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The current low mortgage rate environment has helped ease this pressure, and fewer than half of consumers expect rates to go up in the next year. While the May increase in income growth perceptions could provide further support to prospective home buyers as the spring/summer home-buying season gains momentum, the effect may be muted by May’s discouraging jobs report.”

“Here’s a closer look at additional findings from Fannie Mae’s latest index reading:

  • 29% of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, a drop of 1 percentage point from March and an all-time survey low for the second consecutive month.
  • 52% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell a home – an all-time survey high.
  • 42% of Americans believe that home prices will go up.
  • 72% of Americans say they are not concerned with losing their job, a drop of 2 percentage points from March.
  • 18% of Americans say their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago, up 7 percentage points from March and at an all-time survey high.”

Buyers Gaining Upper Hand in Luxury Market

wall street journalPosted last week in “Daily Real Estate News, sourced to “The Wall Street Journal”, June 15, 2016:

“The number of luxury homes for sale is growing, and that is unlocking some deals for potential buyers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Indeed, inventory of homes priced between $500,000 to $750,000 increased nearly 16% in March compared to a year ago, according to data from NAR. What’s more, inventory for real estate priced more than $1 million increased 12.6% year-over-year.

“As more expensive homes linger on the market, buyers are finding more bargaining power.

“For sellers, this may be a tough realization that the power is shifting. Shannon Baird, a broker with Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore., says that a major challenge is changing the mindset of home sellers who are hearing news of quick sales and bidding wars. But that’s not the case in the upper price bracket in many markets.

“Stock market volatility has made some wealthy buyers more cautious to jump into a big home purchase at the moment. Also, fewer foreign buyers are on the market as the dollar strengthens, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The stock market has come back up, but we don’t know yet if that means the upper-end home buying market will begin to return,” Yun says.”

Do You Vote in Lee County?

Ding Darling Society logoIt “yes”, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s June 23, 2016 newsletter asks that you “Keep Conserving Lee” and posted the following notice:

“Vote YES for Conservation 20/20.  Support the continued use of tax dollars to conserve important wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities in Lee County by voting YES for Conservation 20/20 in the November 8, 2016, election. Thanks to 20/20, we were able to fulfill our goal to purchase and protect property at Woodring Point in 2013. We hope to work with the county again in the future on such preservation partnerships.”

Here for July 4th?

4th-of-july-clip-artA few more July 4th events have been announced. Click on the “Upcoming Island Events” tab above for more details.

Here are some photos of where the fireworks could be viewed, including the end of Bailey Road (1st group of photos) and the end of Dixie Beach Boulevard (2nd group)– or anywhere on the bay side of the island.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 17-24, 2016



2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $539K, Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 $649K (our listing).

3 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $372K, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 now $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 2/2.5 now $650K.

1 new sale: Compass Point #151 3/3 listed at $1.195M.

2 closed sales: Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $675K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $760K.


2 new listings: 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.049M, 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 $27M.

2 price changes: 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $769K, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 now $1.075M.

3 new sales: 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $729.9K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 listed at $1.249M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 listed at $1.279M. 

1 closed sale: 1658 Sabal Palm Dr $852.5K.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: 1310 Par View Dr $331.25K.



1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 $435K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.


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.)

July 3 2015 5Until next Friday, when SanibelSusan Realty Associates will be all decked out for the holiday weekend!
(more pix next week)
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 



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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

Another Summer Sale by The SanibelSusan Team

SANSLogoIt’s great to be back on the island after a busy few days of meetings in Orlando. The SanibelSusan Team also was busy while I was away last week with Dave showing homes last weekend which resulted in a nice sale that was finalized today. Way to go, Dave!

Elise and Lisa fielded inquiries and listing showing appointments. Surprisingly for it being the first week of school here, there was a fair amount of action. Island traffic is expected to change significantly tomorrow though, when only a handful of check-ins are expected.

Here are a couple of news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Songwriters Bringing Tunes to Captiva

MusicThe 1st Annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest will bring nationally-acclaimed singer-songwriters to Captiva and Fort Myers Beach this fall. The festival will take place over two weekends with dozens of free shows. The Captiva weekend will be Sept 26 to 28, it then will shift to Ft Myers Beach for Oct 3 to 6. The complete schedule will be released soon, but Captiva venues already confirmed include South Seas Island Resort, ‘Tween Waters Inn (Crows’ Nest, Old Captiva House and the Canoe & Kayak Club), Captiva Island Inn, Keylime Bistro, Cantina Captiva, RC Otter’s, The Mucky Duck, and Doc Ford’s Captiva.

Contest Deadline Approaching

Ding Darling Society logoSept 15 is the deadline for the 27th Annual “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. Sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) it is held in conjunction with “Ding” Darling Days, which runs from Oct 19 to 25. More info on www.ding-darlingdays.com.

The SanibelSusan Team always enjoys receiving photos taken on the island by clients and friends. So get out your best photos, folks, and give the contest a try. Here is a photo that an island friend emailed us a couple of weeks ago. We call it “up close and personal with a red-shouldered hawk” (hope our bird identification is correct).

red shouldered hawk

SanCap Motor Club, Inc.SCMC-LOGOS-4CFinal

There is a newly-formed club on Sanibel. Members of the community are invited to meet with other car enthusiasts on Monday, Sep 1 for a “Cruise In” in the front parking lot of Periwinkle Place Shopping Center. If you have a passion for automobiles – antique to muscle, class to hot rods – join the SanCap Motor Club. This is their inaugural event!

Spring Was Healthiest Market in 3 Years

realtor logoYesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” posted the following positive news, sourced to realtor.com®:

“July housing data shows that price appreciation and inventory increases during the peak home-buying season helped the market to post the largest spring gains in three years, realtor.com® reports in its National Housing Trend Report. “In July 2012 and 2013, we saw external economic factors overwhelm the healthy gains established in the housing market during the spring home-buying season,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “This year, we’re ending the traditional season with high buyer and seller confidence demonstrated by price appreciation, increases in inventory, and quick home sales.”

“In July, housing inventories rose 2.3% year-over-year, as the median list price posted a 7.5% increase year-over-year, realtor.com® reports. The median list price was $214,900 nationwide in July. “Despite higher prices and more homes on the market, buyers are snatching up properties faster than last year,” realtor.com® reports. The median age of inventory in July was 82 days, three days less than 2013.

“This is the first time since the beginning of the recovery that we expect to see positive momentum throughout the second half of the year,” Smoke says. “While seasonal patterns are emerging in July month-to-month comparisons, all other metrics point to fundamental market health and a build-up of momentum.””

What About Sanibel & Captiva?

San Cap LogoLooking at the sales on Sanibel and Captiva Islands January through July, there was not such a huge jump in the number of sales, but good steady progress.

Here is how those statistics stack up – unit sales year-to-year.


Sales         Sanibel                                           Captiva                                          GRAND

1/1 to 7/31 Condos  Homes  Lots   TOTAL     Condos  Homes  Lots    TOTAL   TOTAL

2014           111         145       20     276           13           19          0         32          308

2013           109          142      14     265          23            14          1         38          303

2012           113          122      22     257          25            20          1         46          303

2011           106          113      12     231          19            15          0         34          265

Wondering how these sales compare to current inventory? We need listings – especially homes!

# for sale

8/22/14      126          149       88     364          43            34          4         81          445

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 15-22



2 new listings: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $349,555; Sanibel Siesta #502 2/2 $595K.

2 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $249.9K (our listing), Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 now $669K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms #C1 2/2 $485K.


5 new listings: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 $425K, 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 $434K, 3990 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599.9K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $798K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $2.175M.

1 price change: 1266 Isabel Dr now $1.795M.

5 new sales: 6451 Pine Ave 3/2 listed for $489K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed for $489K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $549K, 667 Nerita St 3/2 listed for $739K, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 listed for $799K (our sale).

3 closed sales: 5841 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $425K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $715K, 4444 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $925K.


2 new listings: 5749 SanCap Rd $399K, 6486 Pine Ave $459.9K.

1 price change: 861 Birdie View Pt now $339K.

No new or closed sales.



1 new listing: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 $1.249M.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2628 2/2 now $639K.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 listed for $1.249M.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.


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.

Enjoy your weekend! It’s gonna be another sunny warm one on the islands! SanibelSusan


It is Yet Another Gorgeous Friday Afternoon on Sanibel Island

It is another sunny Friday on Sanibel with the locals again enjoying island offerings. The beaches have been just beautiful this week with visitors posting terrific sunset photos and folks talking of dolphins jumping near shore. I heard a couple of vacationers say that the shelling is light, but Lighthouse Beach continues to bring raves from those collecting miniatures. Traffic is essentially nil with no one needed to direct at the 4-way stops the last few days. The shops and restaurants mostly are being patronized by locals too.

Over Easy logoWe can always tell that “season” is really over when colleagues and I go into an island hangout for lunch and know nearly everyone there. That is when other business owners quiz us about the real estate market and we compare notes. Yesterday, I chatted with Trasi, co-owner of “The Over Easy Cafe” and “Island Paws”. We always joke with her that her restaurant is one of the few places where we can count on getting “in and out” in less than an hour, but only after the snowbirds depart. The restaurant was busy, but patrons included several other Realtors® and many island worker bees. Like the rest of us, she and her staff are enjoying a little less pressure after a super busy winter season.

VIP rentalsWe are all very thankful for the upswing in business this year. Dave Schuldenfrei, Manager of VIP Vacation Rentals, also told us that their bookings continue to be up, more than 20% over last year overall, including more visitors in June, July, and August. I sure hope prospective buyers are heeding that news. It still is a good time to buy an investment rental. That inventory has good opportunities including several of our listings!

Our last home listing closed on Monday. If you have island friends thinking of selling, please tell them about us, as plenty of home buyers remain.

Below are a couple of news items followed by a report action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, but first a few photos that I snapped today on my way back to the office about noontime. The beach shots came from the boardwalk at Gulfside City Park. The bay views are from the park at end the end of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking San Carlos Bay. The turtle crossing the road was in Lake Murex and the pretty arbor is the entrance to the butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.


Sanibel & Captiva 2014 Sales Stats

With more high-end sales posted this week, it is a good time to update the sales statistics for 2014. Here they are with the closed sales reported through noon today:


Average Price $ Average Price $ Average Price $
  For Sale 138 697,768 174 1,332,100 86 521,561
  Under Contract Awaiting Closing 15 790,420 34 820,838 4 411,500
  Sold in 2014 thru 6/6 92 687,650 111 856,567 15 454,204
  Sold in 2013 161 573,557 197 910,321 26 416,502
  Sold in 2012 151 551,244 183 823,598 33 487,687
  Sold in 2011 142 591,861 179 826,130 19 363,729
  Sold in 2010 120 608,545 124 775,805 21 336,905
  Sold in 2009 87 670,489 144 755,003 11 333,136
  Sold in 2008 95 731,648 148 952,695 13 379,927
  Sold in 2007 86 791,163 143 1,024,007 17 854,803
  Sold in 2006 143 866,972 156 1,143,682 18 523,917



Average Price $ Average Price $ Average Price $
  For Sale 42 876,664 38 4,307,934 4 2,428,500
  Under Contract Awaiting Closing 4 863,125 5 2,284,800 0 N/A
  Sold in 2014 thru 6/6 7 526,611 16 2,796,344 0 N/A
  Sold in 2013 36 659,185 18 2,522,056 2 675,000
  Sold in 2012 35 836,129 26 1,536,019 3 1,221,667
  Sold in 2011 24 737,754 22 1,782,059 1 485,000
  Sold in 2010 25 696,159 10 2,258,250 2 2,850,000
  Sold in 2009 22 804,818 16 2,573,016 3 2,241,667
  Sold in 2008 21 894,536 13 3,465,385 4 3,251,250
  Sold in 2007 12 906,042 19 3,270,300 1 3,575,000
  Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 10 2,307,375 4 2,218,750


This representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc. 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 & does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in all of these transactions.


Resort & 2nd Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

RSPS LogoTuesday, at our Association office, SanibelSusan taught one of the modules needed for island Realtors® to earn their Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS) designation. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® offers this local education program annually. It is a good way for those working the island to learn what is different in selling real estate here. My 15 students included some brand-new Realtors®, some with many years of experience, some new here, and some that know the island well. It made for an interesting mix and good interaction.

As one of the 40 members of the 2014 Florida Realtors® Resort & 2nd-Home Specialists Forum and one of just six islands Realtors® holding the national RSPS certification, it always is fun to update my course material and get smarter myself, while sharing the knowledge. It goes without saying that the bulk of island sales are to buyers looking for vacation or 2nd-home property, rental income, or value appreciation.

Here is some info from my class. Some of the stats are based on the National Association of Realtors® “Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey 2014”.

  • The states with the largest number of vacation and second homes are Florida, California, Texas, and Michigan.
  • Nationally, 75% of these buyers get financing, here (Sanibel & Captiva) it is the reverse, with most buyers paying cash.
  • 60% of today’s investment buyers are likely to buy another investment property.
  • 55% of investment buyers are likely to buy a vacation property in the next two years.
  • Similarly in two years, 51% of all vacation property buyers are likely to purchase an investment property and 52% are likely to purchase another vacation property.
  • Among those buying primary residences, 37% are likely to buy an investment property and 40% a vacation property within the next two years.
  • By 2020, the number of second homes is expected to increase by about 200,000 units per year with the South projected to see about half of all the new 2nd-home growth.

Housing Market Reaching Equilibrium

realtor logoA “Real Estate News” article posted on-line on Monday, says:

“Home prices have already begun moderating over the past year and appreciation likely will continue to gradually slow over the next two years, according to a forecast of 31 analysts recently surveyed by Reuters. Analysts predict home prices to rise 7.5% this year and then curtail to 4% by 2016.

“That marks a sharp slowdown from the double-digit increases reported last year. Analysts surveyed by Reuters say they expect prices to slow in the coming months due to tight lending standards, slow wage growth, and a lack of first-time buyers.

“”Growth would be more robust if we saw more first-time homebuyers in the market,” says David Nice, economist at Mesirow Financial. “That would put the housing market on a sustainable growth trajectory.” Analysts surveyed expect existing home sales to reach a 4.75 million annual rate in the second quarter of this year and rise to 5.10 million in the first quarter of 2015. “We are seeing a state of equilibrium,” says Mark Goldman, a real estate expert at San Diego State University in California. “I don’t see any symptoms that would cause housing prices to go up or down significantly.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 30-June 6


1 new listing: Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 $675K.

5 price changes: Sundial #I103 1/1 now $349.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $523.9K, Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 now $769K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $829K, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 now $2.875M.

4 new sales: Sundial #I304 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 listed for $540K, Sundial #O302 2/2 listed for $699K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 listed for $750K.

5 closed sales: Sunset South #1B 2/2 $515K, Sandpiper Beach #505 $575K (short sale), Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $854.5K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 $1.2M, Anglers Key #201 3/3 $1.62M.


4 new listings: 621 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $509K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 $999.9K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.2472M, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M.

6 price changes: 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $579.9K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $799K; 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 now $869,999; 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.095M; 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.299M (short sale); 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $2.85M.

6 new sales: 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed for $458K, 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $579K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 listed for $649K, 949 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $775K, 2538 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 listed for $850K, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 listed for $1.295M.

14 closed sales: 2007 Mitzi Ln 3/2 $399K, 9263 Kincaid Ct 3/2.5 $415K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $427.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $415K, 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 $480K, 706 Emeril Ct 3/2 $679.9K, 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex $688K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 $726K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 $770K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $910K (our listing), 1759 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $917.5K, 5423 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $1.337M, 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 $1.485M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 $5M.


1 new listing: 1311 Par View Dr $295,555.

2 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $159.9K, 4636 Rue Royale now $429K.

1 new sale: 659 Anchor Dr listed for $549K.

1 closed sale: 1325 Eagle Run Dr $395K.


2 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2313 1/1 $539K, Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.085M.

2 price changes: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 listed for $525K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2338 3/3 $773.5K.

No new listings.

1 price change: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $9.75M.

1 new sale: 11532 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed for $1.35M.

1 closed sale: 1129 Logifolia Ct 4/5 $5.3M.


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.

Beach1(Large)Best wishes to all for a terrific weekend!

It will be summer beach weather with those afternoon showers still likely here!

Mother’s Day Weekend – Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Island

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it was another week of fabulous weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies, gorgeous teal gulf waters, unobstructed sunrises and sunsets, and temperatures in the 60’s/70’s at night and 80’s/90’s almost every day.

Donax Street Beach Access Today 05-09-14 at 2 p.m.

Donax Street Beach Access Today 05-09-14 at 2 p.m.

This also was the first week of 2014’s real estate “off-season”, with no Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday and very few showings this week. It’s true what the locals say about May and October being some of the best months to be on the islands – nice weather, little traffic, no waits, and lower rental rates – just not a lot of real estate action then.

Our pals in the vacation accommodation business advise that Sanibel is at only about 45% occupancy now. May is expected to be quiet right up until Memorial Day weekend, but reservations pick up in June when schools are out and families begin their summer vacations.

Beach in front of West Wind Inn on Tues 05-06-14 at 1 p.m.

Beach in front of West Wind Inn on Tues 05-06-14 at 1 p.m.

Below are a couple of new items followed by the action over the last seven days posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Survey: More Owners Think It’s a Good Time To Sell

fannie-mae-logoHere is some good news that FloridaRealtors® posted on line yesterday:

“Americans’ outlook toward the housing market continued to improve in April – and perhaps foreshadow an increase in housing activity in the coming months – according to results from Fannie Mae’s April 2014 National Housing Survey.

“The share of respondents who believe it’s a good time to sell a home increased for the third consecutive month to an all-time high of 42%, an encouraging sign since many potential homebuyers will need to sell a home before entering the purchase market.

“In addition, the share of respondents who say it’s a good time to buy a home remained steady at 69% following a gradual climb since the beginning of the year. Notably, although consumers remain generally split regarding their ability to get a mortgage, fewer respondents are concerned about losing their job – which may encourage potential homebuyers to enter the market.

“”Consumer attitudes about the current home selling environment have improved and now are at the most favorable level we’ve seen in the survey’s four-year history,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “These results are in line with our expectations for increased housing activity and gradual strengthening of the housing market going into the spring and summer selling season.””

Luxury Home Sales Soar Above Historical Average

realtor logoWhen I read the following Realtor®Mag on-line article this week, it crossed my mind that Sanibel sales this year mirrored some of these findings.

“Affluent buyers are feeling bullish about housing, as luxury home sales skyrocket, Bloomberg reports. Million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average, according to data released by the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Sales of homes that cost $1 million or more increased 7.8% in March compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, sales of homes that cost $250,000 or less — which represent about two-thirds of the housing market — dropped 12% in March year-over-year. “The real estate market is the ultimate reflection of confidence, wealth, and income,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.

“Transactions for homes costing $2 million or more soared 33% in January and February compared to a year earlier, according to an analysis by DataQuick of 25 of the top U.S. metro areas. The transactions were the highest for a two-month period since DataQuick began its tracking in 1988.

““The luxury markets are on fire,” Christie’s International CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers told Bloomberg. “The trends in luxury housing are similar to trends in other luxury goods. Whether you’re buying a third home in Manhattan as a pied-a-terre or another Picasso, these are acquisitions of passion, of lifestyle, and of experience.”

“There have been some blockbuster sales recently. The latest to grab headlines was the $147 million sale of an East Hampton’s property, which now carries the title as the priciest home sale ever in the U.S. This came two weeks after the sale of a single-family home in Greenwich, Conn., known as Copper Beech Farm shattered home records at the time at $120 million.

““The stock market is very strong, and this is a way to monetize and concretize some gains,” says Gary Wasserman, CEO of Allied Metals Corp., who is looking to boost his personal real estate portfolio. “We had quite a shock to our collective confidence in 2008 and 2009. The resurgence of the economy has underscored for us that this country remains a very strong place, and that the future remains strong.”

Source: “Million-Dollar Home Sales Thrive While Low End Stumbles,” Bloomberg Businessweek (May 2, 2014).”

10 Energy-Saving Tips for a Hot Summer

EBOriginalCertifiedLogo150pWhile reading my on-line Eco-Broker® newsletter this month, I noticed the following timely article which they sourced to “freshome Design & Architecture”. Since the islands have already had some 90-degree temperatures, these ten energy saving tips may come in handy:

“While we all look forward to the summer months for warmer weather, and enjoying the great summer nights, higher energy bills are not welcomed. Whether you are running your air conditioning more often, using more water to take showers, or you’re using more electricity to run fans to get a cool breeze, energy saving tips can help your pocket and the Earth. This summer before you crank down the air conditioning another 10 degrees, look to these energy saving tips to help you through this hot summer, your pocket will thank you!

“1. Replace your outdated air conditioning unit: If you live in a home that is over 20 years old, it may be time to consider purchasing a new unit that is more energy efficient. Even if you have lived in your home for a shorter period, but live in extreme climate areas, such as desert communities, also consider replacing your unit. Look for units that cost less to run and have energy approved program standards. This can differ depending on your geographic location.

“2. Alternate methods of cooking: Instead of using your oven everyday, consider using your microwave or grilling outside this summer. Heating your oven up daily adds more heat to your interiors and therefore requires your air conditioning cooling system to work harder and longer. If you do need to use your oven, consider baking in the morning hours when your air conditioning may not need to be used and it’s cooler outside.

“3. Automate your thermostat: If you are still using a manual thermostat to adjust the air conditioning in your home, consider replacing with an automatic one that can be programmed to keep your home warmer when you are not home. Then in turn, you can program it to come on before the family gets home.

“4. Keep the hot sun out of your home: When leaving your home, or in times of the day when the sun is at its hottest, pull your window treatments closed to block out warm rays. Your interior spaces will feel cooler and your air conditioner won’t work as hard.

“5. Give your air conditioning a break: Using a ceiling fan to move air around in your home instead of air conditioning can give a much needed break to your air conditioning. Save energy and cool your space down for less money with the use of oscillating room and ceiling fans.

“6. Take cooler and shorter showers: When taking a shower in your home, turn down the temperature of the hot water to save energy. Decrease the duration of how long you stay in the shower to save on your hot water tank usage. Consider installing a tankless water heater to heat water only when needed, as opposed to an entire tank, which sits in your garage, basement or utility space.

“7. Install more energy-efficient light bulbs: Change out your current incandescent bulbs to more efficient ones, for example: compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy to use as well as emit a brighter light. They also last longer, and therefore need to be replaced less often, in turn saving you money.

“8. Have you air conditioning unit serviced regularly: Ensure that you keep your air filters changed regularly per the manufacturers directions, and have a professional HVAC maintenance person service your unit every year. This will help your investment keep working properly for years into the future, while saving you money now.

“9. Ensure your air conditioning pipes are sealed: Examine the pipes, and connections, as well as vents in your home to ensure proper sealing and caulking between the connections. What’s the point in cooling your home, if half of the cool air is cooling the attic? If you’re not familiar with how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance person help you.

“10. Spend more time outside of your home: Summertime is a perfect excuse to get out and enjoy it! From swimming in community pools to having a picnic or getting exercise outdoors, spending less time in your house will help your energy consumption bill. While you can’t spend every minute outdoors, the summer weather should push you to the outdoors.

“Saving energy this summer shouldn’t be a major challenge. Use these 10 helpful energy saving tips to protect your wallet, save the Earth and keep you and your family cool this summer. There are hundreds of ways to save energy, do your part in making this summer enjoyable for all, and by keeping your energy consumption to minimum levels to give your pocket a break too!”

U.S. Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

The Washington PostHere are some excerpts from an article by Darryl Fears published in the “Washington Post” on Tuesday. Though this topic is not complete real estate related, perhaps these snippets will be a wake-up call to some.

“Global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy and dangerous.”

“The government’s newest national assessment of climate change declares that increased global warming is affecting every part of the United States. The report released Tuesday cites wide and severe impacts: more sea-level rise, flooding, storm surges, precipitation and heat waves in the Northeast; frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and the Caribbean; and more drought and wildfires in the Southwest.

“Temperatures at sea, on land and on ice all point to a warming trend over the past century, according to several indicators in the government’s National Climate Assessment. “For a long time, we have perceived climate change as an issue that’s distant, affecting just polar bears or something that matters to our kids,” said Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and a co-author of the report. “This shows it’s not just in the future; it matters today. Many people are feeling the effects.”

“The federal climate assessment — the third since 2000 — brought together hundreds of experts in academia and government to guide U.S. policy based on the best available climate science. The authors of the more-than-800-page report said it aims to present “actionable science” and a road map for local leaders and average citizens to mitigate carbon and other gas emissions that warm the planet….Echoing the findings of a recent global report by climate scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.S. scientists said that the climate is changing in the United States and that the warming of the past 50 years was primarily caused by emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans. Burning coal for electricity, using gasoline to fuel vehicles, clear-cutting forests and engaging in certain agricultural practices that remove carbon-trapping vegetation contribute to the problem, the assessment said.

“By the end of the century, temperatures could be up to 5 degrees higher, even if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It could be up to 10 degrees hotter if emissions are high. The higher the temperature, the more dire the impact. Extreme weather in the United States caused by climate change has increased in recent decades, the report said.

“The decade starting in 2000 was the hottest on record, and 2012, the year Hurricane Sandy followed an epic summer drought, was the hottest ever recorded in the nation’s history, the report said. U.S. temperatures are 1.3 degrees to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit higher now than they were in 1895, and most of that increase — 80% — occurred over the past 44 years, the assessment says.

“Alaska warmed twice as fast as the rest of the country in the past 60 years, leading to permafrost thaw that is causing highways and even airport runways to sink.

“The authors pointed to major concerns for the mid-Atlantic region, which includes the District, Maryland and Virginia. “As sea levels rise, the Chesapeake Bay region is expected to experience an increase in coastal flooding and drowning of wetlands” that protect against storm surge, the report said. That’s especially bad because the lower bay region is at higher risk as a result of sinking land. Water quality would decline and low-oxygen “dead zones” would increase.

“If there are higher greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of Maryland and Delaware, and parts of West Virginia and New Jersey, are projected to have 60 extra days per year of temperatures topping 90 degrees starting around the middle of the century, the report said.

“The effects sound alarming, but there are reasons to be optimistic that they can be mitigated, said David Wolfe of Cornell University, a lead co-author of the report’s chapter on change in the Northeast.

Business leaders are looking more toward investments in renewable energy, he said. This report, unlike the first two, has a Web site with interactive tools that show Americans how to reduce climate impacts.

“It will be a living document, a resource for people,” he said. “It’s a place to start….”

“The climate experts worked for several years, holding 70 workshops nationwide and revising the final drafts to reflect thousands of public comments. They were guided by a 60-member panel called the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.

“Climate change is leading to heat-stress events, forcing people with respiratory illnesses to turn to devices such as inhalers or to hospitals, the federal assessment said. It is resulting in more severe allergies and waterborne illnesses as pathogens increase. Minority communities are particularly vulnerable….

“Thirty percent of carbon released into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, leading to acidification that’s killing coral and shell life. Coral protects young fish from predators, and tiny shellfish, at the bottom of the food chain, help feed entire ecosystems….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 2-9, 2014



3 new listings: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 $259K, Sundial #K105 2/2 $888K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 $2.2M.

4 price changes: Sundial #C301 1/1 now $325K, Sundial #I301 1/1 now $350K, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 now $759K, Sayana #202 2/2 now $859K.

1 new sale: Sunset South #1C 2/2 listed for $439K.

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1091 2/2 $375K; Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 $449,999; Lighthouse Point #130 2/2 $440K; Beachcomber #C302 2/2 $1.6225M.

2 new listings: 705 Oliva St 3/2 $799K, 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 $975K.

9 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $299.9K; 5289 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $499,995; 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $549K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $559,555; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $599.7K; 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $715K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $729K; 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 now $799K; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

6 new sales: 2007 Mitzi Ln 3/2 listed for $399K, 736 Cardium St 3/2 listed for $439K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed for $779K, 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $825K, 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 listed for 1.595M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 listed for $5.999M.

8 closed sales: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $319.9K, 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $419K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 $500K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 $569.5K, 1356 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $645K, 4472 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $700K, 1818 Buckthorn Ln 3/3 $850K, 5795 SanCap Rd 3/3 $990K.


1 new listing: Beverly Ln, Lot 19 $196K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 4309 Gulf Pines Dr listed for $299K, 1042 Blue Heron Dr listed for $449K.

2 closed sales: 3334 Saint Kilda Rd $280K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln $314.5K.


1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $639K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $557.5K.


1 new listing: 11547 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.375M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 listed for $7.995M.

1 closed sale: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.65M.


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.

mothers-day-border-clip-art-5Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all

It’s Still a Great Time to Buy Island Real Estate as the Month of May Begins with Great Weather on Sanibel & Captiva

As SanibelSusan wraps up another real estate week on the island, there are 25 finalized Sanibel sales to report: 17 condos and eight homes. Two of the condos were SanibelSusan listings.

Those closings bring total Sanibel closed sales year-to-date up to 154 (69 condos, 75 homes, and 10 lots). Another 85 Sanibel properties are under contract (31 condos, 50 homes, and 4 lots). The total number of closed sales year-to-date are just a tad ahead of last year when 148 properties had sold by now (52 condos, 86 homes, and 10 lots). This winter the most popular product was high-end condos.

Our weekly report below describes the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, including our new listing at Mariner Pointe. (Below is a slide show of some of the amenities at Mariner Pointe.)

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First some island and real estate news:

Dunes Traffic Study Results  

DunesEntrySignIn preparation for The Dunes roads being resurfaced in the summer of 2015 (a project expected to cost in excess of $700,000) and as follow-up on the concerns of some residents that their community is being used as a “cut-through” for commuters during “season”, the City performed a traffic study of The Dunes and nearby roadways in March.

The results of the study were presented in a special meeting at The Dunes Pavilion this week when it was reported that 64% of the vehicles accessing the Dunes during the study’s peak period (4-6 p.m. March 19-21) were “pass-through” traffic.

Sanibel Public Works Director, Keith Williams, who spoke during the meeting, said “That total is higher than your typical neighborhood, but it doesn’t appear that speeding is an issue here, although we have heard several complaints about that.”  Interestingly, the study also concluded that through-out the 2-hour peak period, eastbound traffic along Periwinkle Way averaged 5 miles per hour. Many Dunes residents at the meeting completed a feedback survey and offered suggestions.

Island Night – Save the Date

Island Night Richard in Old CarSanibel’s 21st Island Night is Wednesday, June 4. This is the 21st year of the celebration which in 2004 was renamed Sam Bailey’s Island Night in honor of Sam whose vision was to bring the island communities together for a common purpose.

The fun begins at Hammond Stadium at 6:15 p.m. with a parade around the ball field.

The game is at 7:05 p.m. with the Fort Myers Miracle versus the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

Bubble Room cakesFree tickets are available from sponsors and at Bailey’s General Store. Contributions, which have totaled more than $150K over the years, have been distributed to help many local organizations, non-profits, and scholarships.

Mark your calendar on June 4 to enjoy a fun-filled night with the locals – camaraderie, baseball, your favorite ballpark concessions, plus cake from The Bubble Room!

Housing Recovery Ending? Not Yet

realtor logo“Realtor®Mag” on-line posted the following article last Friday:

“”Several housing reports out this week have painted a picture of a sluggish start to the spring-selling season. New-home sales plunged 14.5% in March, reaching the lowest level in eight months, according to the Commerce Department. Existing-home sales posted a slight drop in March, falling 0.2% from February, but the sales volume was at its lowest point since July 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

“So is the housing recovery ending? Not yet, housing experts say.

“Several challenges persist: Low housing inventories, tight access to mortgage financing — particularly for first-time home buyers — and the decrease in housing affordability as home prices and mortgage rates rise, notes Rick Sharga, an executive vice president at Auction.com who used to be an exec at Carrington Mortgage Holdings and RealtyTrac.

“Still, Sharga says the recovery remains on track. “This feels like a relatively normal market correction,” he notes in a column for HousingWire. “Prices rose rapidly and have stayed high due to limited inventory, causing affordability issues for potential home buyers. This has created a bit of a lull in terms of sales volume, but prices continue to go up, albeit more slowly. That, in turn, will create more positive equity and eventually result in more homes — existing and new — on the market, which will cause prices to soften, hopefully in tandem with somewhat more lenient lending practices.”

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, also sees an uptick in housing in the months ahead.

“With ongoing job creation and some weather-delayed shopping activity, home sales should pick up, especially if inventory continues to improve and mortgage interest rates rise only modestly,” he says.”

The Worst Is Over, But the Best Is Nowhere Near

realtor logoAnother “Realtor®Mag” article posted on-line this week offered good follow-up to the article above, when at a recent legislative and leadership summit for real estate managers, economists and industry leaders, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had more to say:

“The country isn’t likely to fall into a repeat recession, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun told real estate management professionals meeting in Washington, D.C., last week. But that’s hardly cause for celebration among economists.

“On the plus side, the country has added nearly 8 million jobs, replacing all those lost during the downturn, Yun said. Growth in consumer spending and high household net worth also bode well for the economy.

“However, Yun was quick to stress, the economy is not thriving by any means. Business spending is growing at the slow, steady rate of 2%, he said, rather than a sustained 5% to 10% rate that would suggest real economic growth. Yun said businesses are “flush with cash.” While corporations typically leverage funding to outspend profit levels, recent data shows business spending and profits to be nearly equal, as executives are leery of overspending. This has resulted in improved balance sheets for most organizations, including banks.

“Yun’s comments came during the Institute for Real Estate Management’s 2014 Legislative and Leadership Summit held April 5-9.

“Diving into real estate industry data, Yun said commercial real estate is slowly recovering from 2009, when transactions declined by 90%. Multifamily has steadily outshined the other sectors, partly because of the inability of many renters to convert to home ownership.

“Another factor contributing to the strong performance of multifamily real estate is the lack of supply. “New construction in all sectors has yet to recover in any meaningful way,” Yun said. Housing construction, in particular, would need to rise by more than 50% to be restored to previous levels. This persistent under production of single-family and multifamily housing will continue to lead to low vacancy rates and rising rents for this sector, Yun said.

“After sharing the market outlook, Yun was joined by real estate industry leaders Jeff Day, CEO of Berkeley Point Capital LLC, and Jonathan Miller, partner at Miller Ryan LLC and author of the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate.

“When asked where he would invest in the current market, Miller stressed the desirability of “24-hour cities — large cities in global pathways linked by international transportation hubs.” According to Miller, this is where the major part of the economy is growing and where most institutional and foreign capital is concentrated. Other areas are more lackluster, he said, with both market prices and rents for office buildings remaining stagnant for up to two decades in some cases. “It’s a have and have-not situation,” Miller said.

“Still, the panel said the big-city model is being successfully replicated in smaller markets, such as Reston, Va., where a town center is home to a vibrant community with condominiums, movie theatres, and other retail spaces, attracting young professionals.

“Yun predicted that both the Millennial and boomer generations will contribute to the desirability of condominiums in these 24-hour cities. “I’d invest in 24-hour cities that are developing. Look at areas where traffic is getting worse,” Yun said. “Build condos in 24-hour cities. Apartments are already there, but there is a pent-up demand for condos. A sizable number of renters will want to convert over to ownership. Therefore, property management of condos will be rising.”

“The panel also forecast continued economic success in Texas cities and up through the middle of the country in the so-called “energy states.”

“Addressing office-sector trends, Day told the audience to look for more amenities being offered on business campuses. The new model is to “glue them to the campus with dry cleaning, food, and so forth,” Day said, allowing workers to interact and complete personal business on-site.

“When asked about the demand for green features in commercial real estate, panelists agreed that generally, lenders are interested in making sure they make loans on sustainable income streams. To that end, green features can be desirable, but factor into more of a capitalistic decision than an altruistic one.

“Ultimately, the panelists agreed, the outlook for commercial real estate is good, with all sectors in recovery mode. Money is flowing again, they said. This will lead to continued growth in the industry — and demand for professional real estate managers to keep things operating strongly.”

Countries Where There’s a Rush for U.S. Real Estate

CanadaIf you missed the “24/7 Wall Street” article earlier this month, here is how it was reported in on-line “Daily Real Estate News” on April 15. Made me think about how my advertising budget is reaching these buyers.

“Foreign buyers are being lured to U.S. real estate due to what they perceive as bargain prices, economic stability, and a “safe haven for investors,” 24/7 Wall St. reports. Interest in U.S. real estate from international buyers in ten countries has soared since 2009 by 95% or more. In nine of those countries, the interest has at least doubled, according to data from RealtyTrac. “The U.S. real estate market is coming off of a rough patch and entering recovery mode,” says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice president. “International buyers see it as a great time to jump in and catch the U.S. market on the upswing.” 24/7 Wall St. compiled data from RealtyTrac to find that the following countries are showing the highest increases in interest in purchasing American homes.

  • United Arab Emirates: Growth in prospective home buyers: 352.2%, Share of international prospective buyers: 1.1% (12th highest)
  • Switzerland: Growth in prospective home buyers: 269.7%, Share of international prospective buyers: 2.1% (8th highest)
  • Hong Kong & China: Growth in prospective home buyers: 254.2%, Share of international prospective buyers: 4.1% (4th highest)
  • France: Growth in prospective home buyers: 190%, Share of international prospective buyers: 2.8% (6th highest)
  • Italy: Growth in prospective home buyers: 178.4%, Share of international prospective buyers: 1.9% (10th highest)
  • United Kingdom: Growth in prospective home buyers: 153.8%, Share of international prospective buyers: 12.1% (2nd highest)
  • Australia: Growth in prospective home buyers: 121.9%, Share of international prospective buyers: 11% (3rd highest)
  • Canada: Growth in prospective home buyers: 107.7%, Share of international prospective buyers: 45% (the highest).”

Homes Are Getting Bigger

FLRealtors_newlogoThere were some fun statistics posted in the May issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine that arrived this week. This info is according to Census Bureau data and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

  • The average new-home size has continued to rise, from 2,362 sq. ft. in 2009 to 2,679 sq. ft. in 2013.
  •  The share of new homes with at least four bedrooms has risen from 34% in 2009 to 48% last year.
  • From 2005 to 2011, the number of annual new-home sales has dramatically declined, from 1.28 million to 306,000.

Lee County Meeting Venues

Occasionally, I am asked, “Where could my company hold a business meeting or conference on Sanibel?”

FinnimoresThat’s a tough question if your company is a large one, as even our 350+member local Association of Realtors® has had trouble through the years finding spots to hold our weekly caravan and membership meetings.

Several years ago, the Association purchased the commercial strip mall where Finnimore’s Cycle Shop is located and converted the upper floor into conference spaces and meeting rooms.

The April issue of “Gulfshore Business” magazine listed the largest Southwest Florida meeting venues.

sundial-logoHere are the ones in Lee County.

Note that only Sundial Beach Resort is on Sanibel and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva.

south seas logoSanibel Harbour is nearby, close to the toll booth before the causeway.

  • Germain Arena: 171,000 sq. ft.
  • Alico Arena:      120,000 sq. ft.
  • Lee Civic Center: 90,000 sq. ft.
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa: 73,000 sq. ft.
  • Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa: 45,000 sq. ft.
  • Harborside Event Center:  42,000 sq. ft.
  • Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre: 36,000 sq. ft.
  • South Seas Island Resort: 28,000 sq. ft.
  • Sidney Berne Davis Art Center: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Sundial Beach Resort: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at the Bell Tower Shops: 8,500 sq. ft.
  • DiamondHead Beach Resort: 8,000 sq. ft.
  • Holiday Inn Airport @ Town Center: 7,000 sq. ft.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 25-May 2, 2014


4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 $475K, Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 $500K, Pointe Santo #A21 2/2 $819K.
3 price changes: Sundial #H111 1/1 now $279K, Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 now $375K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $439K.
2 new sales: Breakers West #B5 2/2 listed for $459K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K.
17 closed sales: Donax Village #9 1/1 $248K, Captains Walk #C1 2/1 $280K, Sundial #H107 1/1 $298K, Beach Road Villas #104 2/2 $313K (our listing), Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $314K, Beach Road Villas #102 2/2 $330K, Seawind #102 2/2.5 $380K, Sundial #J108 2/2 $460K, Compass Point #212 2/2 $520K, Sundial #Q302 2/2 $625K, Nutmeg Village #105 2/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #121 2/2 $699K, Surfside 12 #C3 3/2 $750K, Sanibel Arms #F8 2/2 $775K, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $890K (our listing), Janthina #1A 3/2 $1.03M, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 $2.35M.


7 new listings: 966 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 Half-duplex $398.5K; 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 $435K; 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $439K; 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $458K; 490 Christine Rd 2/2 $629,555; 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $724,999; 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 $1.675M.
6 price changes: 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $515K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $529K, 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 now $545K, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $599K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $685K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.15M.
8 new sales: 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $579K, 1019 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed for $769K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 listed for $799K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed for $895K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 listed for $899K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 listed for $899K, 6010 White Heron Ln 3/2.5 listed for $959K, 9007 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 listed for $1.075M.
8 closed sales: 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 $569.5K, 460 East Lake Rd 2/2 $589K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $575K, 977 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $570K, 923 Pepper Tree Pl 3/2 $700K, 5049 Joewood Dr 6/7.5 $3.8M, 906 Snowberry Ln 4/4.5 $4.1M.
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.


No new listings.
1 price change: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.375M.
1 new sale: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed for $2.595M.
1 closed sale: 17201 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 $3M.

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.

Here’s to another cheerful Friday on Sanibel Island! Cheers! Susan

“Best Weather” Month Coming Up on Sanibel Island

 Chambere logoIt is official. “high season” in Florida is over. Real estate inquiry calls have slowed down and I heard that even internet and foot traffic at the Chamber of Commerce suddenly has dropped off. After 22 years on Sanibel, it still is always amazing how fast the islands go from gridlock to quiet. Related mostly to school breaks ending and spring weather arriving elsewhere, I guess. Too bad, as the month of May often has some of the “best” weather!

SanCapAssnLogoYesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan Meeting only one house was on tour, again indicative of the time of the year. Attendance was down too, with almost as many affiliate business partners there as real estate agents. Beginning May 1, these meetings will revert to the every-other-week off-season schedule. Between now and summer, the islands usually experience a return of prospective buyers who did not buy during the winter – often because they could not view all of the properties that interested them. SanibelSusan Realty associates are ready for them.

Below are a few news items, followed by an update of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action over the last week. Of the two island condo closings this week, one was ours. We also had the only lot sale closing.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1

Baby loggerhead

Baby loggerhead

The 2013 sea turtle nesting season on Sanibel and Captiva was the 3rd highest season on record according to the May-June issue of SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) “Member Update”. Last summer 26,641 live hatchlings were produced from the islands’ two beaches. Of the 483 nests documented, 23 were by green sea turtles 

SCCF also announced that Sanibel and Captiva now are using the online nesting and stranding databases found at www.seaturtle.org. This means that when the 2014 sea turtle season begins, the nesting data may be viewed in real-time throughout the season. 

Sanibel-Captiva-Rotary-Arts-Crafts-Show-Heart-Logo-300x225Sea turtles are among the world’s oldest creatures. On Sanibel and Captiva where the beaches provide subtropical nesting areas for threatened loggerhead and endangered green turtles, more than 100 island residents volunteer each summer as part of SCCF’s Sea Turtle Research and Monitoring Program which operates under a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Each day during nesting season, May to October, the 18 miles of Gulf beaches from Sanibel Lighthouse to the tip of Captiva are checked beginning at dawn. Nests are identified and marked for monitoring and protection. Later in the season, new hatches are evaluated and recorded. 

If your property is on the beach, remember sea turtles are threatened by light pollution. Bright lights can disorient nesting egg-laden female turtles. For hatchlings, instinct drives them from their nests on beaches towards the brightest horizon, ideally the waterline on an undeveloped coast. Lighting from buildings or even flashlights confuses nesting females and hatchlings, so please keep those lights out. 

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel’s city web site, www.mysanibel.com has an easy way to test if your property is in compliance with the City’s sea turtle protection ordinances:

“Stand on the beach on a moonless night and look seaward. If you can see your shadow cast towards the water, there is too much light behind you.” Check the web site for more info. 

Americans Prefer Real Estate Over Stocks, Gold

Like my Dad always said, “Put your money into real estate!”

gallup poll“RealtorMag” on-line posted the following article from a Gallup (Poll) article (Apr 17, 2014):

“Americans have renewed confidence in real estate as a great investment. In fact, Americans believe real estate is the “best” long-term investment, followed by gold, stocks, mutual funds, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds, according to a new Gallup Poll of … adults who were asked to choose the best option for long-term investments. Bonds were the least favorite investment among the options Gallup surveyed.

In 2011, Americans surveyed said the most popular long-term investment was gold. That also marked a time when gold was at its highest price and real estate and stock values were lower than today, Gallup notes.

““With housing prices improving across the country, Americans are regaining faith that real estate is the best choice for long-term investments,” according to Gallup. “Home ownership is also associated with views of real estate as an attractive investment opportunity.”

“Americans with higher incomes are the most likely to say real estate and stocks are the best investments – “possibly because of their experience with these type of investments,” according to the Gallup poll.

“Higher income Americans are most likely to say they own their home (at 87%), followed by middle-income earners (at 66%) and lower-income earners (36%).

“Home owners are slightly more likely than renters to say real estate is the best choice for long-term investments – 33% versus 24%, respectively, according to the Gallup poll.”

Earth Day & Your Diet

EBOriginalCertifiedLogo150pSanibelSusan’s EcoBroker certification requires renewal each year about the same time as Earth Day. With that renewal comes an educational update, so when I did that class work this week, I also read several of postings about Earth Day. Here is an extract from “National Geographics” with some of their Water Conservation Tips. These interesting facts were posted under their subheading, “Diet”:

water“The water it takes to produce the average American diet alone—approximately 1,000 gallons per person per day—is more than the global average water footprint of 900 gallons per person per day for diet, household use, transportation, energy, and the consumption of material goods.

200px-McD-Quarter-Pounder-wCheese“That quarter pounder is worth more than 30 average American showers. One of the easiest ways to slim your water footprint is to eat less meat and dairy. Another way is to choose grass-fed, rather than grain-fed, since it can take a lot of water to grow corn and other feed crops.

“A serving of poultry costs about 90 gallons of water to produce. There are also water costs embedded in the transportation of food (gasoline costs water to make). So, consider how far your food has to travel, and buy local to cut your water footprint.

Pig bacon“Pork costs water to produce, and traditional pork production (to make your sausage, bacon, and chops) has also been the cause of some water pollution, as pig waste runs into local water sources.

“On average, a vegan, a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day less than a person who eats the average American diet.

cup-of-coffee_w520“A cup of coffee takes 55 gallons of water to make, with most of that H2O used to grow the coffee beans.”



Many HOAs Are Underfunded

Kiplinger personal finance logoA step in the home buying process should always include a review of the association documents including their financials. The following article posted on Apr 22, 2014 at on-line “Daily Real Estate News” and sourced to “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” (April 2014) describes why:

“More homeowners’ groups may be operating with insufficient reserves, which could one day result in an unexpected increase in costs to home owners.

“An estimated 70% of association-governed communities are underfunded, a rise from 60% a decade ago, according to a new report from the consulting firm Association Reserves. Associations that lack adequate reserves may impose large special assessments for emergency repairs, says Robert Nordlund, Association Reserves’ founder. What’s more, home owners who don’t pay could then face liens against their property, or the association could even have the power to foreclose on them.

“Housing experts urge home buyers to ask for a copy of the homeowner group’s most recent reserve study and ask about the percentage of residents who are more than 60 days delinquent on their fees. It affects the association’s cash flow, and when “you’re buying into a nonprofit corporation, you need to find out if that corporation is stable,” Nordlund notes. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 18-25, 2014


2 new listings: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 $324.9K, Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 $799.9K.

6 price changes: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 now $268.5K, Tennisplace #B24 2/1 now $299.9K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $499K, Sayana #103 2/2 now $715K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 now $1.395M, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.2M.

2 new sales: Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 listed for $699K, Compass Point #133 2/2 listed for $1.185M.

3 closed sales: Sundial #G305 1/1 $310K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 $850K (our buyer), Villa Sanibel #1G 2/2 $870K. 

Beach in front of Kings Crown

Beach in front of Kings Crown


3 new listings: 2551 Sanibel Blvd 2/2 $489K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.25M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

7 price changes: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $320K; 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $595K; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $609.9K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $749K; 917 Pepper Tree Place 4/3 now $829,407; 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $859K; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $4.399M.

3 new sales: 9263 Kincaid Ct 3/2.5 listed for $449K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 listed for $799K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 listed for $809K.

3 closed sales: 1344 Tahiti Dr 2/1 $410K, 542 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 $1.8M, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $1.94M (short sale).


1 new listing: 3338 West Gulf Dr $429K.

2 price changes: 2988 Wulfert Rd now $399K, 2993 Wulfert Rd $599K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1118 Sand Castle Rd $165K (our listing). 

Lot just sold in The Dunes

Lot just sold in The Dunes


2 new listings: Lands End Village #1655 2/2 $1.095M, Lands End Village #1657 2/2 $1.095M.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3229 1/1 listed for $235K, Ventura Captiva #4B 3/3 listed for $797.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2338 3/3 listed for $850K.

No new sale.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #310 1/1 $200K.


No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed for $1.65M, 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 listed for $1.095M.

No closed sales.


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.

SanibelSusan is ready for May – best weather month on the island!

Woohoo, It’s Another Great Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

It’s Susan and The SanibelSusan Team reporting that it has been another busy week on Sanibel. Glorious weather, more real estate showings, and sales activity, plus traffic traffic traffic.

This is the view from the Mariner Pointe condo that closed on Tues (SanibelSusan's sale)

This is the view from the Mariner Pointe condo that closed on Tues (SanibelSusan’s sale)

One of the lessons learned this week is that I may need to change my tune about open houses not being productive for the property being featured. During the 3-hour open house held last Saturday at our Sanibel Lake Estates home listing, there were three showings. One turned into an offer. Turns out, before the day was done, I received two offers. It is always great to get them and it can be especially good for a seller when there are multiples; but it can be a bit disheartening too, as someone always loses out.

View from Kings Crown #104

View from Kings Crown #104

It was not the only instance of multiple bids this week. Plenty of sales activity has been and continues to be reported. In addition to the Roseate home sale, I put a Kings Crown condo under contract, then this morning put a Sanibel Center home under contract, while this afternoon our 2-bedroom condo listing at Mariner Pointe #812 sold.

Four sales in a week make us and our clients happy!

It’s not just our office that is getting sales as the weekly report of the listing action reported in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service below shows. It follows a few news items. We hope the momentum continues. Tomorrow is expected to the biggest check-out/check-in day of the year, so new prospective buyers will be arriving.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® February Membership Meeting

SCCF logoThere was standing room only yesterday morning at our Realtors® monthly membership meeting. In addition to chatter about the increased sales activity, a short educational program was presented about Island Landscaping and Native Vegetation. Presenters were SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Education Director, Kristie Anders, and Becca Grotrian from the Native Plant Nursery.

For years in cooperation with our local Association of REALTORS®, SCCF has offered a welcome package for new island owners. It includes an introductory free 1-year SCCF membership and a property visit by one of SCCF’s Native Plant Nursery specialists, like Becca.

If you too are wondering how you can reduce landscaping and water costs, aid the environment and critters, and want to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, here are a few of the tidbits I learned from their “show and tell”:

Coralbean• Coral bean – looks like a Charlie Brown tree when it blooms, because it has no leaves then, but the rose-colored tubular blooms attract hummingbirds.
gammagrass• Gammagrass – is well suited to banks & steep slopes. A good choice along the side of a lake/river/bayou for alligator diversion.
Joewood tree• Joewood – the official tree of Sanibel is slow growing (10-15′) & has small white fragrant blooms, butterflies love it & it’s on the endangered species list.

firebush• Firebush – fun colorful & showy shrub blooms for months & attracts both birds & butterflies. Hummingbirds especially love this plant too.

• Mimosa – often used as a grass replacement/ground cover, has pinky puffy flowers & acts as a host for sulphur butterflies.

spiderwort• Spiderwort – often used as ground cover has a small blue flower.
Simpson's stopper• Simpson’s stopper – has small flowers & an orange fruit that birds love.

coontie plant & butterfly• Coontie – ground cover that will eventually clump to 3’x3′, it’s a cycad, an ancient plant, with cones both male & female. Birds & small animals like the seeds, & is a host for the atala butterfly, also called arrowroot & Seminole bread because early settlers extracted their edible starch.
buccaneer palm• Buccaneer palm – on the endangered list, grows to 10-15′.

Carolina jessamine vine• Caroline jessamine vine – has yellow blooms in the winter & grows to 20′.

More info on SCCF’s website: http://sccf.org.

Sanibel Presidents’ Week Traffic

Here’s my traffic story of the week. On the Monday holiday, Periwinkle Way in front of SanibelSusan Realty was blocked in both directions starting mid-afternoon. By 6 p.m. when I was ready to go home and it still was blocked both ways, I decided to be resourceful and head west, thinking I could travel Tarpon Bay Road as a way to get to the Gulf Drives – so I could eventually head east via what we call “the back way”. This time, it didn’t work as when I got to Tarpon Bay Road, it was blocked in both directions too.

Timbers & Sanibel grillMy next idea was to take the path of least resistance and to go even further west, by traveling Tarpon Bay Road to San-Cap Road, then to Rabbit Road and West Gulf Drive. That entire trip took an hour. As the cars crawled down Tarpon Bay Road passing the post office, up ahead along the side of the road I spied Matt Asen, owner of The Timbers and The Sanibel Grill. He was standing at the restaurant entrance waving a cardboard sign that said “Beat the Rush Hour Traffic, Come in For Happy Hour”. Since the cars weren’t moving much, that sign may not have been very effective, but it sure gave me a laugh. A little traffic is a small price to pay for the extra business and wonderful weather we enjoyed here this week.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 14-21

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #474 2/2 $490K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $559K.
7 price changes: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $464.9K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $474K, Sundial #O302 2/2 now $699K, Shell island Beach Club #5D 2/2 now $775K, Pine Cove #1A 2/2 now $779K, Sundial #E208 2/2 now $799K, Anglers Key #201 3/3 $1.699M.
8 new sales: Sundial #G105 1/1 listed for $319K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 listed for $399K, Mariner Pointe #812 2/2 listed for $459K (our listing), Sunset South #6A 2/2 listed for $520K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 listed for $625K, Nutmeg Village #105 2/2 listed for $689.9K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 listed for $895K (our buyer), Plantation Village #A112 3/2 listed for $1.1M.
4 closed sales: Seashells #21 2/2 $316,356; Mariner Pointe #112 2/2 $535K (our sale); Sunset South #14A 2/2 $710K; Bougainvillea #4 3/3 $937.5K.

6 new listings: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $535K, 696 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $575K, 706 Emeril Ct 3/2 $679.9K, 5690 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $839.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3.5 $1.475M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $4.495M.
9 price changes: 1596 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $409K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 now $449K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $499.9K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $525K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $699K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $759K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $835K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 now $839K, 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.099M.
11 new sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 listed for $333K (our sale), 1960 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $449K (our listing), 4546 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 listed for $499K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $569K, 1787 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed for $$579K, 977 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 706 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed for $679.9K, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 listed for $799K. 231 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 listed for $998.5K, 988 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.095M, 1480 Angel Dr 3/3 listed for $1.545M.
3 closed sales: 696 Durion Ct 3/2.5 $565K, 991 Whelk Dr 4/3 $1.05M, 2380 Troon Ct 4/5 $1.75M.

3 new listings: 861 Birdie View Pt $369K, 4363 Gulf Pines Dr $389.9K, 6159 Starling Way $589.9K.
1 price change: 6081 Henderson Rd now $199.9K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 3351 Saint Kilda Rd $349,555.

No new listings.
1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $1.895M.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed for $295K.
No closed sales.

No new listings.
2 price changes: 15127 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $1.595M, 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $1.849M.
1 new sale: 11527 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed for $2.695M.
3 closed sales: 11515 Laika Ln 4/4.5 $2.05M, 1133 Longifolia Ct 3/3 $3.487.5M, 15017 Binder Dr 3/3.5 $3.4M.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Here’s to another busy weekend of real estate sales & sunny weather on Sanibel!

Weekend wishes to all…SanibelSusan