Fall Weather Is Here – on Sunny Sanibel


Sanibelsusan Logo

 

 

Yippee, SanibelSusan is happy to report that fall weather really has arrived on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The high yesterday was only in the low 70’s. Temperatures from now through Thanksgiving are forecast to be in the 60’s at night, topping out in the mid- to high-70’s during the days – perfect weather for the holiday and enjoying the islands.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

We had another flurry of office activity this week – more listings opened for showing, more open houses, more inquiries. Most years, real estate sales are slow during the holidays – from Thanksgiving until the 1st week in January. Maybe this year will be the different. The island already is filling up with Thanksgiving week visitors and vacationers.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

San Cap LogoYesterday was the Association’s November general membership meeting, held following an 8 a.m. breakfast at The Sanctuary Clubhouse. Sponsor was Simmons Law Firm. Speaker was Rae Ann Wessel, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Natural Resource Policy Director.

These breakfast meetings always have a big turn-out and yesterday was no exception. President Joel Goodman announced that the “Fall Into Christmas” fundraiser for Friends Who Care was a big success. By the end of the meeting, additional cash donations for that charity had jumped to almost $3,800.

With “season” here, many new listings were announced, not many sales, but 19 properties were open for the morning caravan that followed the meeting. I viewed a stunning one overlooking Clam Bayou with amazing water and sunset views. (If you are here “in season”, you can usually plan on seeing new listings open Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon. Because of increased winter traffic, the schedule rotates from east-end to west end. With Thanksgiving being next week, the next event is Nov 30 – east end when our new listings on Anchor Drive and at Mariner Pointe will be open.

The activity posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few news items below.

Sanctuary Scoop

sanctuary golf club logoSanctuary Club General Manager & COO, Ken Kouril gave attendees an update on membership. As he said, “if you build it, they will come”.

The Sanctuary is a member-owned club, offering a golf course, racquet sports, fitness, wellness, and an elegant clubhouse with dining and social activities. Club members need not be residents of The Sanctuary neighborhood. Ken advised that last “season” they expected to sell 20 memberships, but sold 32. This year, just two months into season another 17 are gone. It’s definitely a popular spot!

Their premiere offering, the Equity Membership privileges include access to all Club facilities (which were refreshed, remodeled, and renovated summer 2016), a par-72 Championship Arthur Hills-designed golf course, driving range, short game area, putting green, chipping area, golf lessons, priority tee times, and tournament play, a 50,000-sq.ft. clubhouse, world-class dining, four Har Tru tennis courts, four Pickleball courts, and a 5,000-sq.ft. Wellness Center with a sports pool. The Wellness Center includes an 1,800-sq.ft. equipment room housing state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, a dedicated stretching room, a 900-sq.ft. group exercise room for Pilates, yoga, and similar activities, comfortable well-appointed rooms for massage therapy, and a locker room area. Equity members have voting and redemption rights and hold an Equity position in the Club.

SCCF & Water Quality Update

SCCF logoRae Ann’s slide presentation included a progress report of the status of the EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area) reservoir which works with the CEP (Central Everglades Project). The project was approved by voters in 2000, but now 17 years later, it still has not been built. She noted an earlier FloridaRealtors® study on how water quality affects real estate values, not just within the Caloosahatchee Estuary area, but also inland.

The huge amount of water Florida received this summer, mostly thanks to Hurricane Irma, surpassed all records since those first recorded in 1947. The dark excess freshwater observed near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, particularly in the bay, resulting from Irma, illustrates how badly alternative outlets and additional water storage areas are needed.

Here’s a little history about Lake Okeechobee and its surrounding dike (thanks to Wikipedia): In the 1910’s the Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed around Lake O. Originally, it was just a small earthen dike. The containment was breached by a storm surge from the Great Miami Hurricane in 1926 and the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, killing thousands. After those disasters, Florida State Legislation created the Okeechobee Flood Control District which was authorized to cooperate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in flood control.

After a personal inspection by President Herbert Hoover, the Corps drafted a new plan which provided for the construction of floodway channels, control gates, and major levees along Lake Okeechobee’s shores. A long-term system was designed for flood control, water conservation, prevention of saltwater intrusion, and preservation of fish and wildlife.

In the 1930’s a larger system of levees was built around the lake. Following heavy rain and flooding from two hurricanes in 1947 (the last time as much rain hit Florida as this year), the dike again was expanded. That expansion in the 1960’s created the current Herbert Hoover Dike. The dike almost completely encloses the lake. The dike now is about 30 feet high on average, but is falling into disrepair.

As SCCF reports, progress is being made on Everglades restoration projects critical to opening the southern end of the Everglades to move water south. Passage of the bill to establish the EAA reservoir will work in tandem with these projects to add water storage capacity south of Lake O to feed needed water to the Everglades and Florida Bay currently dumped to the estuaries.

While the EAA Reservoir does not solve all the problems, it is a major step forward and initial planning for the project has begun. Committee work for the next Florida legislative session also already has begun with the session opening on January 9 (two months earlier than normal because of the upcoming election year). SCCF has a legislation tracker at http://www.sccf.org/our-work/natural-resource-policy/sccfs-2018-legislative-session-tracker. Please follow the legislation and whenever a “call to action” is requested, please act. We all need to stay involved in Florida’s water.

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving 2017Annual Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration – You-know-who is singing with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. Hope to see you there. Sunday, Nov 19, at 6:45 p.m. at The Community House with music and song. Sanibel School’s Seahorse Chorale also is singing. Free admission, but please bring a donation for FISH of San-Cap.

Fit-4-Life 10-Year Celebration – Monday, Dec 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Rec Center, with music, dancing, photo booth, bounce house, drawings, facility tours, cupcakes, and video.

Holiday Tips from LCEC

Lcec logoFour important tips to keep your spirits bright!

  1. Before you plug in lights, check for frayed wires, damaged sockets, & insulation gaps. Toss & replace any that are damaged.
  2. Consider LED lights which are cooler & more energy efficient.
  3. Don’t overload outlets or extension cords.
  4. Turn off all lighting before leaving the property or going to bed.

Top 10 Airlines Serving Southwest Florida

logo-rswHere’s a little info about the top ten airlines serving Southwest Florida (from the Oct/Nov 2017 “Gulfshore Business” magazine). All of the airlines mentioned below fly out of Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), except Allegiant (Punta Gorda Airport). Their number of passengers to Southwest Florida and their headquarters, follow their name.

  1. Delta, 1.9 million, Atlanta
  2. Southwest, 1.8 million, Dallas
  3. American, 1.23 million, Ft Worth, TX
  4. Allegiant, 992,990, Las Vegas
  5. JetBlue, 981,000, New York
  6. United, 725,000, Chicago
  7. Spirit, 600,000, Ft Lauderdale
  8. Frontier. 383,000, Denver
  9. Air Canada, 164,000, Montreal
  10. Sun Country, 132,000, Minneapolis

2018 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits Available Now

parking-on-sanibel

On Wed, the 2018 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits became available at the Sanibel Recreation Center. To qualify for one, bring a valid vehicle registration for each vehicle AND a valid government-issued identification. A driver’s license showing a Sanibel address or proof of Sanibel property ownership is required to buy a resident/property owner “A” sticker.

2018 Parking Permit Decals & Fees (permits valid through 11/30/2018) include:

“A” resident/property owner permit $12 (resident &/or Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner

“B” non-resident permit $124 (non-Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner)

“C” restricted permit $90 (resident & non-resident)

“A/C” resident/property owner permit $102

“B/C” non-resident permit $248

Decal transfer or reissue fee $3 (residential & restricted)

General parking meter rate $5 per hour or any fraction

General parking at $5 per hour or “C” permit required for parking at Gulfside City Park (Algier’s) & the Sanibel Boat Ramp

“A” permit parking only at Beach Access Lots 1 through 7 on West Gulf Dr.

More details on www.mySanibel.com. (The Rec Center is open Mon through Thur 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m; Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Rec Center memberships are available too – daily, weekly, semi-annual, and annual.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 10-17, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 $410K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2 $499K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $599.9K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #321 2/2 $699K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 $699.9K, Sand Pointe #111 2/2 $715K, High Tide #C201 2/2 $1.045M.

Lanai a

Mariner Pointe #1061 lanai

 

3 price changes: Breakers West #A5 2/2 now $498K, Compass Point #192 2/2 now $1.195M, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 now $1.299M.

1 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #G8 2/2 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Tarpon Beach #A102 2/2 $730K.

HOMES

12 new listings: 1394 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $524.9K, 1342 Junonia Sr 3/3 $699K, 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $979K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.095M, 205 Hurricane Ln 3/2 $1.195M, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $1.295M, 1277 Par View Dr 4/3.5 $1.299M, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $1.395M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 $1.449M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 $1.9M, 6021 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3/2 $2.75M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 $3.695M.

9 price changes: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $578K, 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 now $799K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $949K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $995K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.249M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 now $1.395M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.695M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 now $1.949M, 4649 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 now $2.595M.

3 new sales: 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $595.9K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $688,888; 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $695K.

No closed sales:

LOTS

1 new listing: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $229,555.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 $1.495M, Beach Homes #6 3/3 $2.499M, Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 $3.275M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #7 2/2 listed at $1.795M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 $1.45M.

1 price change: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 now $5.6M.

2 new sales: 11461 Old Lodge Ln 2/2 listed at $1.025M, 11500 Gore Ln 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Thanksgiving wordsHappy Thanksgiving!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Thanksgiving on Sanibel & Captiva


pilgrims-and-indiansSusan here, reporting the end of another busy week at SanibelSusan Realty Associates.

For those not in town, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this week has been the weather that makes most locals happy. Bright breezy days with temperatures down into the 60’s at night. The highs forecast for the next week range from low to high 70’s.

Picture perfect Thanksgiving weather for those lucky enough to be here for the holiday. Great weather for viewing property too, so we hope to have lots of real estate inquiries over the next week.

We had good showing action this week with some weekend and early week showings already scheduled for next week. It should be a busy one – holiday and all.

The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, follows a few news items.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday morning was the local Association of Realtors® November Membership meeting.

At The Sanctuary – This week being a West-End Caravan, it was handy that the meeting was at the newly refurbished Clubhouse at The Sanctuary. Here are a few photos of the new décor. It is beautiful with a natural coastal modern casual vibe.

sanctuary-11-17-16-lobbysanctuary-11-17-16-living-rmsanctuary-11-17-16-club-fireplacesanctuary-11-17-16-club-dining

After the meeting, I got a private tour of the new 6000 sq. ft. fitness center by Club Manager Ken Kouril. This building is under construction, but is two months ahead of schedule. Now due to open in January. It will be a wonderful improvement for Sanctuary owners too. The facility which replaces a smaller building taken down some months ago, will house larger areas for exercise equipment, plus a huge yoga studio, special spa treatment rooms, and larger locker/baths/changing areas. The new pool outside is large – as big as the Rec Centers – and elevated with expansive deck area. Next to the tennis courts will be court(s) for the new popular sport – pickle ball.

News From City Hall – The speakers at the meeting were Sanibel City Manager Judith Zimomra; Sanibel Senior Planner Roy Gibson, and City Accounting Operations Manager Laura Zautcke.

sanctuary-speakers-11-17-16

Sanibel City Manager – Judie began her comments with “Every town is unique. Everyone thinks theirs is. Sanibel really is.”

As partners in our industry, Judie further described how the City works to keep government lean and taxes low and how Council has focused on ways to systematically increase property values, by getting growth through reinvestment. Examples are renovations of commercial buildings like Bennett’s Fresh Roast which formerly was an old real estate office and Huxters Center which recently updated both inside and out through a new waiver system.

Sanibel Senior Planner – Roy’s power point further discussed planning and zoning initiatives for redevelopment of nonconforming island properties. The goal of the redevelopment vision statement is to provide equitable process for redeveloping non-conforming properties that existed at the time of incorporation to redevelop through a transparent process without expanding existing non-conformities. The redevelopment process steps include reviewing the existing Land Development Code regulations and amending them to enhance incentives and improve standards for redevelopment, including Build-back Regulations (non-conforming structures and non-conforming uses), Resort Housing District, and Commercial District standards.

Other recent amendments to Sanibel regulations related to redevelopment include pervious brick pavers (excluded from coverage calculations) and a revised definition of substantial improvement. Regarding pervious pavers for residential driveways, the pavers now are excluded from calculations of impermeable coverage. This exclusion applies only for conforming properties, and currently only applies to driveways for single-family and duplex properties.

Regarding substantial improvements – this is a big change. “Substantial improvement means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement, or combination or accumulation of any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure in which the cost of the improvement equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure at the time that an application is filed”. This 50% rule used to apply for five years, now it applies per project, so allows for more improvements in shorter timeframes.

Sanibel City Accounting Operations Manager – During Laura’s financial presentation, she described the changes in the City’s 2016/2017 budgets. Her pie chart on taxes paid by Sanibel citizens based on final rates adopted by taxing authorities in September showed the 2016 average residential taxable value to be $558,975 with an average tax bill of $8,641. Of that bill, 45.2% goes to Lee County schools, 26.2% goes to Lee County, 14.9% goes to the City of Sanibel, and 13.7% goes to independent districts (like the Sanibel Library District, Sanibel Fire & Rescue District, etc.)

She also proudly described how Sanibel’s operating millage rate steadily has gone down from 2.5 in 2007 to 1.9139 which was the rate in 2016 and will be again in 2017.

Essentially during the same time, 2006 to 2015, Citywide outstanding debt (governmental, sewer, & pension) has gone from $79,147,305 to $40,634,677.

Thanks to these speakers for keeping our Realtors® up-to-date on what is happening at City Hall. We appreciate these annual presentations and City cooperation with us and our members whether it be researching properties, their permit histories, improvement potential, or in educating us on ways to improve our services. We are very lucky to have them, their resources, and partnership.

1 in 4 Florida Owners With Mortgage is ‘Equity Rich’

Florida Realtors logoPosted on line yesterday at FloridaRealtors®:

“ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report finds that 23.4% of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are equity rich, meaning their loan-to-value ratio is 50% or lower. It’s a year-to-year increase of more than 2.6 million owners.

“In Florida, the ratio is similar, according to ATTOM, where 23.2% of owners with a mortgage are equity rich.

On the flipside, 16% of Florida owners with a mortgage are still “seriously underwater,” meaning they have a loan-to-value ratio of 125% or higher. Nationwide, the seriously underwater percentage is 10.8% – a year-to-year decrease of 854,000-plus homeowners.

“”Close to one in every five U.S. homeowners with a mortgage is now equity rich thanks to a combination of rising home prices and lengthening homeownership tenures,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

“”Median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q3 2016, and homeowners who sold in the third quarter had owned their home an average of 7.94 years – a new high in our data and substantially higher than the average homeownership tenure of 4.26 years pre-recession,” says Blomquist. “As homeowners stay in their homes longer before moving up, they are amassing more home equity wealth.”

“A closer look by metro areas finds no Florida city in the top 10 on ATTOM’s list, however. Still, one city – Cape Coral-Fort Myers – was notable for being the only state city in the list of seven metro areas that saw the number of equity-rich homeowners increase by more than 10% as the area logged a 11.5% point increase.

However, one Florida metro area also made ATTOM’s list of seven cities where more than 20% of homeowners with a mortgage are still underwater: Lakeland-Winter Haven ranked at No. 7 with an even 20%.”

Upcoming Island Events

Nov 20 – Sunday – Sanibel Annual Thanksgiving Celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. at BIG ARTS Schein Performance Hall.  Free non-denominational celebration of Thanksgiving. (SanibelSusan and fellow BIG ARTS chorus members will be singing, as will a new children’s chorus from The Sanibel School.)

flyer2016

Nov 24 – Thanksgiving Day – Turkey Bowl from 9 to 11 a.m. – 2-hand touch football at Sanibel Community Park, open to all ages.

Nov 25 & 26 – Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving – 25th Sanibel Masters Art Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Part (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). BIG ARTS Community Chorus is singing two holiday sets Saturday morning.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 11-18, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $369K, Sundial West #G307 1/1 $424.9K, Sundial West #H209 1/1 $439K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $639K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 $739K, High Tide #C101 2/2 $1.195M (our listing).

c-bldg-closest

High Tide #C101 is 2600 sq. ft. – the entire first floor, one up over covered parking & storage at ground level. Elevator opens to only this unit & the one above. Light & bright with windows all-’round. Never rented, this residential condo offers easy living in small 14-unit complex with beachside pool, plus tennis on West Gulf Drive. Gulf view too!

2 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $369,555; Sandy Bend #6 2/2 now $949K.

3 new sales: Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 listed at $415K, Mariner Pointe #622 2/2.5 listed at $639K, Kings Crown #315 2/2 listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: Sundial West #A208 2/2 $790K.

HOMES

12 new listings: 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $699K; 525 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $749K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $799K; 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 $799,555; 8991 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $829K; 1232 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $929K; 5838 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.295M; 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3/2 $1.495M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.6M; 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2.1M; 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $2.195M, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.695M.

9 price changes: 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $549.9K; 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $639.9K, 3152 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $789K; 3354 Barra Cir 3/2 now $899K; 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.299M; 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.3M; 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.795M; 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 now $1,999,999; 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.299M.

2 new sales: 5279 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $728K.

2 closed sales: 1333 Par View Dr 3/2 $825K, 4014 West Gulf Dr 3/2/2 $1.35M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 6419+6428 Pine Ave now $1.499M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 2153 Periwinkle Way $265K, 3965 Coquina Dr $350K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $650K.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

pilgrims-and-indians_whimsyclipsThanksgiving good wishes to all,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

osprey fishing line

 

Sandpiper

Eagle

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

Island Sales Stat Summary

Sanibel                         Condos                        Homes                         Lots

                                     #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Island Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Big Home Feature Buyers Want?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Doesn’t Rise or Fall With Interest Rates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 7-14

Sanibel
CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Whether selling or buying, please call The SanibelSusan Team.

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

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