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

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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

Good Action at SanibelSusan Realty During Dog Days of Summer


TheSanibelsusan Logo whole SanibelSusan Team is back to work – as the Lee County kiddos are all back to school. That sure was a quick summer!

This week, island real estate activity continues to be sporadic, though we received more calls about new listings for “season”, likely the result of our recent newsletter mailing. Proposals and presentations for those usually continue through the end of the year.

One of our condo listings went under contract last weekend (we like doing both sides of a transaction) and a couple of other listings had offers. Negotiations still are underway on those, with fingers crossed.

A few other listings had showings with good feedback, so though it is that time often referred to as the “dog days of summer”, we are pleased with this week’s happenings.

No Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but a membership breakfast is next Thursday, so I hope to have more news to announce by then. Meanwhile after a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Best States for Business

Every year “Chief Executive Magazine” rates the best and worst states for doing business in the U.S. The good news is that Florida again is #2 this year. It held the same position last year. While Texas continues its reign as #1. For more info on where the other states rank, go to http://chiefexecutive.net/2016-best-and-worst-states-for-business-full-list/

Florida the sunshine stateAs the article says, “Texas and Florida top the list, as they have every year for the past 12 years that we have conducted this survey. Despite having been hit hard by the shale energy bust, Texas is still held in high esteem by CEOs for its favorable economic reforms. But each year, Florida steadily edges up in the qualitative measures. The Sunshine State added 1 million private-sector jobs over the last five years, cut taxes 50 times and got rid of 4,200 burdensome regulations. In 2014, it surpassed New York as the third-biggest state for companies to flourish.” Hooray for The Sunshine State!

Renovation Tips to Attract Buyers

realtor logoAn article posted yesterday on line at the National Association of Realtors® “Daily Real Estate News” was titled “Renovation Tips to Attract Millenial Buyers”. However, I have heard plenty of buyers – various ages – interested in the same features. Here’s what the article says:

“Generation Y makes up the largest pool of potential buyers, and builders and current home owners alike are keeping their needs in mind when building and renovating homes.

“The millennial generation is overwhelmed with options and information online, which is also reflected in their home search process. They are not looking to settle for a home that is good enough, they want to find one that is ready to move in and enjoy right away.

“”They’re picky,” says Peggy Yee, a supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, Va. told Consumer Reports recently. “Millennials have specific needs, and if your home doesn’t meet them, they’re going to move on to the next house.”

“When your clients are looking to tackle a renovation project, Consumer Reports suggests they should focus on improving these four areas of the home that will make it an easier sell and appeal to younger buyers: (SanibelSusan says these appeal to older buyers too!)

“Create a Laundry Room – Young buyers want to separate their laundry from their main living space. Having a separate laundry room is so important to millennials, in a recent survey 55% of them said they wouldn’t even consider a new home without one.

“Get Smart – Having energy efficient, up-to-date appliances and including smart home technology in a home is a big value-add for young buyers. As NAHB reports, over two-thirds of millennials say smart home technology is a good investment, and they are willing to pay 3 percent more for these upgrades. But as Consumer Reports cautions, “keep in mind that high-tech features can quickly become poor investments because technologies evolve quickly.”

“Make Working from Home Easier – Many millennials have jobs with flexible schedules and work from home policies, so owners should think of ways they can re-imagine a space to make telecommuting a reality. As Consumer Reports points out, “It’s also relatively inexpensive to convert a room into an office; a basic desk, office chair, and door should do the trick.”

“Focus on Outdoor Spaces – Many young buyers are looking for a home that’s move-in ready and comes already equipped with thoughtful landscaping and a outdoor space for entertaining. This type of space doesn’t have to be fancy either. Just adding a patio or deck that has room for seating and a grill should do the trick to attract these buyers.”

Tourism Numbers Decline from Last Year

santiva chronicle“Santiva Today” this morning posted an article based on info from “The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Tourist Development Council” (TDC), it says in part:

Lee Visitors Convention Bureau logo“The Tourism Development Council got together in Fort Myers on Thursday and that was the occasion to receive the latest tourism numbers for Lee County. One would expect the numbers to be down in view of the bad water and bad publicity resulting from Lake Okeechobee discharges, and they are.

“The TDC’s spring statistics show a decrease in average occupancy rate, the average daily rate charged for a room and revenue available per room for hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts. Rentals of condominiums, cottages and vacation homes were also down as was occupancy in RV parks and campgrounds.

“As the TDC notes, the declines are modest, but they are declines. The hotel-motel-resort-B&B occupancy rate in the spring fell from 70.4% in 2015 to 69.5% with the average daily rate dropping from $149.43 to $147.61. The average daily rate charged, or RevPAR, went from $105.16 last year to $102.65 this year.

Although the average daily rate for condos and vacation homes jumped from $180.73 to $186.08, occupancy in these units fell nearly 4% from 73.3% in spring 2015 to 69.4 this spring. The RevPar fell more than $3 from $132.47 in 2015 to $129.19 in 2016….

“The TDC said 77% of this spring’s tourists came from within the United States. That’s down from 83% last year. Germany made up most of the difference by providing 11% of the tourists this year compared to 5% last year. Great Britain sent us 5% of our tourists and Canada 4%, numbers that are basically in line with 2015.

“Seven percent of the American tourists came from Indianapolis with Boston second at 6%. Chicago and New York gave us 5% each. At 3% each were Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati and St. Louis.”

Sanibel Community House on Track to ReOpen Early December

Posted yesterday by “The Santiva Chronicle” was an update on the renovations underway at The Community House. Watching the work progress is fun for us since our office is so close. Here some tidbits from the article:

North room community house

Photo by “Santiva Chronicle” of the north (historic) room

“Teresa Riska-Hall understands the value of Sanibel’s Community House from first-hand experience. “My husband and I held our wedding reception there more than 27 years ago,” she said. “It is near and dear to our hearts.”

“Riska-Hall, who has served as Executive Director of the Sanibel Community Association since 2010, is in charge of the Community House’s massive restoration project, and she reports that all is proceeding according to plan, with the reopening slated for early December.

““I have been working on the project for several years,” she says. “Watching it come to fruition at long last is truly exciting.” Part of Riska-Hall’s task is to preserve the Association’s historic outbuildings. These structures include the old Shell Fair Galley, the Shell Shed and the Live Shell Exhibit.

““We want to keep our heritage alive, even as we make huge changes in the House’s overall design,” Riska-Hall said. According to Riska-Hall, the Live Shell Exhibit outbuilding has been crucial to the Shell Fair’s function. “Sanibel School students spend a year learning about sea-life, after which they serve as teachers during the Shell Fair,” Riska-Hall noted. “These kids demonstrate their expertise with live specimens in the Live Shell’s Exhibit’s touch tank. We will move this important structure behind the main building for continued use.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the contractors have been confronted with plenty of surprises during the renovation. “One big surprise was finding old library books in the wall of the main building. They date back to the original Sanibel Library, which first opened its doors at the Community House,” she said.

“Another surprise was finding a cistern beneath the flooring. “That was quite a shocker,” she said. “The old floor came off in pieces, but it is still precious to us, so we will repurpose the wood. It won’t be discarded.”

“Riska-Hall acknowledged that installing the new roof over the auditorium required an unanticipated budget increase of $10,000, “but it is well worth the additional expense. The updated roof, plus the new wood flooring and acoustic panels, will improve the auditorium’s sound environment.”

“According to Riska-Hall, money had been budgeted for foundation work and flooring, for moving the historic buildings, and for upgrading the electrical system. “More is required, and we continue to seek funds for these added expenditures,” she said, “but we are close to our funding target.”

“New amenities greeting patrons when the project is complete include a sizable under-cover patio to provide drop-off capability, larger restroom facilities and wider east and west auditorium doors. “We will have easy entrance on all four sides of the structure,” she said, “and our kitchen will double in size!”

“The project also includes the acquisition of 1,250 new native plants, to meet the city’s landscaping standards. “We were able to save our coonties, our tabebuiah trees and our palms—virtually all of our existing native plants,” Riska-Hall said. “We are moving them to new sites on the property.”

“Given all of the unanticipated challenges, “that we are on schedule is amazing! The structure will be roofed-in by the end of next week. Then the project will really speed up,” she said. “It’s a challenging time, but everything is working out. We are extremely happy about that.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the Community House’s calendar for the coming season is filling up fast. “Folks should call now for reservations,” she says. “Do not delay!” To schedule activities at the Community House, contact Riska-Hall at 239 472 2155, or send an email to Teresa@sanibelcommunityhouse.net.”

Update on Renovations at The Sanctuary Golf Club

Sanctuary 08-12-16 Dining

Their photo of the Bridge Room

The Sanctuary Golf Club’s Facebook page recently posted some photos of their ongoing renovations.

The refurbishment of The Clubhouse is well underway. The new décor is in a beachy-chic palette with all new carpeting, paint, and furniture.

The club has remained open during these updates with the new-look at the Clubhouse expected to be completed in November.

Demolition of the old and construction of the new nearby Fitness & Wellness Center began in May. Weather permitting, completion there is expected in March 2017.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 5-12, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 $735K.

3 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $539K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 now $649K (our listing), Sundial West #A208 2/2 now $809.9K.

LP Beach

Beach overlooking San Carlos Bay in front of Lighthouse Point

LP pool

Lighthouse Point pool

2 new sales: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $424.9K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $625K.

2 price changes: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $439K, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.75M.

1 new sales: 9468 Peaceful Dr 3/2 listed at $759K.

2 closed sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 $745K, 739 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.05M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 $1.15M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $299K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $975K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 now $254K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $950K, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.949M, 16177 Captiva Dr 7/7 listed at $5.95M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

bella 08-16.jpgUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your dog days of summer are as great as those on the islands!

(That’s my grand-dog Bella after a dip in my pool this week! She loves it!)

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

What’s Happening Now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s SanibelSusan again with some Friday scoop. My team and I have been busy all week with action items on new listings, upcoming closings, and recently negotiated contracts, but new business was markedly slower this week, while traffic was markedly improved.

Yesterday’s Realtor® Caravan Meeting was lightly attended and showing activity/inquiries were down too. Below after a couple of news items is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Community House Renovation Plans Moving Ahead

Community Ctr renovationCommunity House logoIt was with interest that the April-May newsletter of the Sanibel Community Association “The House News” reported the following:

“The long-anticipated renovation of the Community House is moving forward, with building and site plans being completed this year and primary construction now expected to happen in the Summer of 2016. This will allow the House to host its normal schedule of activities during next season (2015/2016) without disruption.

“The renewal project will restore the historic North Room, in a manner consistent with its designation as a historical landmark, and the overall outside appearance of the Community House will be designed to be compatible with the “Olde Florida” style. Inside, the House will receive a major modernization, with upgraded electrical, plumbing, and audio-visual equipment, expanded and modernized kitchen and rest room facilities, and more flexible interior space, and a fresh look.”

A subsequent, email update today from SCA covered some points from their recent annual meeting including: that the last major renovation there occurred in the 70’s when the auditorium was added. After the upcoming summer 2016 renovation, the facility is expected to reopen in October. Local architect (& fellow Sanibel Chorus alto) Amy Nowacki has been appointed to design the project. Benchmark has been engaged as General Contractor. Cost for the project is estimated to be slightly under $2M.

“In the presentation to SCA membership, a new vision was outlined for how the Community House could participate in the Civic Core operations. “While SCA’s Board has decided to renovate its current building rather than construct a new Community House on the north side of Periwinkle at this time, we hope to be able to move SCA’s major outdoor festival-type events across the street to the planned Civic Core Community Green. This would include things like the major Arts & Crafts Fairs which operate over several days during the height of season. Locating those events on the Community Green would give them a more comfortable setting and make for easier parking and pedestrian access.

“SCA’s vision calls for the Civic Core project to include construction of an open-air pavilion on the Community Green that would serve as a base for the outdoor festival events and be available for other types of open-air functions, with parking provided by the new Civic Core shared parking lots. SCA plans to advance this idea with the City and other Civic Core stakeholder groups.”

Sweet Island Message

Facebook logoA couple of my teammates scowl when they hear that I have posted something on social media, particularly Facebook. But being a forward-thinking professional, I want to ensure that our business is marketed in whatever way necessary to best serve our clients and customers. Experts advise that younger generations rely on social media for business as well as pleasure, and since I have both received listings and found new prospective buyers through social media, my adventure into technology will continue.

What really irritates me though about social media, especially this week, is the amount of negativity that is posted and then perpetuated. My Dad always said “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I know that I don’t always follow that advice, so it is heartwarming to read what I consider a “sweet message” once in a while.

Seal_of_Maine_svgOn Facebook, there is a closed group called “Beautiful Sanibel Island”. The only requirement to join is that you “love Sanibel Island”. With over 6,000 followers, it is bound to have some naysayers occasionally and it does; but when I read the below message this morning from a gal who was here on visiting, I said to myself, “I must share this.” (Warmed my heart even more to see that the author is from Maine too! Those gals tell it like it is!)

“I returned home after another week in paradise a few days ago. The respect that everyone, young and old has for this magical island never ceases to amaze me. I just want to share 2 of my favorite interactions. I noticed a little girl, approximately 7 years old on a sandbar, holding the most beautiful, HUGE Lightening Whelk. I approached her to take a look and she, in a very matter of fact way says, “we can’t keep it, he’s alive”. It warmed my heart. The second was while I was taking a walk near the lighthouse. I saw a gentleman in his mid twenties, nice looking, nice physique, carrying something toward the water. I walked over to see what he had. It was a little Leopard crab. The handsome, young man says, “poor little fella, I need to get him back to the ocean. I hope he’ll be alright”. God, I love Sanibel…”

The Sanctuary Golf Club says “Please, Pardon the Dust…”

The Sanctuary Sign2July08As yet another indication that “season” is over, the following article was in the April issue of the “Sanctuary Sound”.

sanctuary golf club logo“The Members of The Sanctuary Golf Club have made a decision to remodel, redecorate, and refresh! …

“First, the Clubhouse will be remodeled. The integrity of the brand will remain but new furnishings, paint, carpet, decorations, etc. will be added to refresh the Club. Next, the outside dining will be enhanced to capture the magnificent golf course view. Lastly, the fitness center and pool will be removed for a 5,000 sq. ft. Tennis & Wellness building. It will include new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, an aerobics room, massage therapy rooms, and locker rooms. The lap pool will augment the exercise programs to include water aerobics…these changes will begin May 2016.”

Note: Their social membership is capped at 100 with 14 currently on the waiting listing. With normal attrition just 2 to 4 members a year, if you are considering joining The Sanctuary as a social member, it makes sense to complete an application and get your name on the list now. There are no fees for the applying. For more info, contact Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership, 239-332-5182 or statum@sanctuarygc.net.

RPAC Hair Color Challenge

rpacAt our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday, I challenged colleagues to change their hair color as part of our annual fundraiser for RPAC. RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) contributions support a variety of things affecting all of us. Those issues include electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, cleaning waterways, and re-nourishing beaches. Realtor® dollars contributed to RPAC are used: 30% to national issues, 45% to Florida (http://pac.floridarealtors.org), while 25% may be used by local associations.

SanCapAssnLogoEach May, after “season”, our Sanibel/Captiva Association hosts an event which originally was known as “The Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, the event includes advance raffle-ticket sales, a golf tournament, and both silent and live auctions with items donated by members, plus an after-party. The purpose is to celebrate that we made it through another “season” and to raise money for RPAC.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® may be small, but we recognize the importance of RPAC. SanibelSusan’s challenge adds just a different twist to raising a few more dollars this year. Those taking the challenge only need to color their hair wild and colorful before the event on May 20. If they meet the challenge, I will make a contribution toward their RPAC goal, provided they are more than 50% vested themselves. Goal levels begin at just $100.

If I am the only one on the island with pink hair in a few weeks, you will know that no one took my challenge, but I am hopeful that you will see some fun local color soon! Sanibel/Captiva took home four of the five state RPAC awards last year for a board of our size. This year we are hoping for five out of five! The gauntlet has been thrown.

Six Florida Islands That Are Better (And Usually Cheaper) Than The Caribbean

huff post travel logoHere is the intro to an article posted this week on the Huffington Post’s “HuffPost Travel”:

“If you’re craving an exotic beach escape to one of the best islands in the world, then head to Florida. Floridian islands made up three of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Islands In The U.S. this year. They’re so stunning that earlier this year, the tourism bureau of Ithica, New York even begged travelers to go, to forgo the city to visit Florida’s islands instead. While getting to the Caribbean can be a schlep for your luggage and tough on your wallet, visiting Florida’s islands will not require going through customs and are often, though not always, cheaper to get to.”

The write-up included the below photo and had this to say about Sanibel: “Sanibel Island – With no chain stores, no stoplights and a population of just about 7,000 people, this place is pure, quiet island bliss. Hunt for seashells on the beach, or chow down on chicken wings at the Lazy Flamingo.”

HuffingtonPost photo 4-28-15

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 24—May 1 

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $525K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $459K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $490K, Seascape #201 3/3 now $1.795M.

3 new sales: Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 listed for $670K, Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 listed for $899K, Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 listed for $995K.

2 closed sales: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $475K, Sundial #E408 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $649K, 588 Boulder Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 1251 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $824.9K (short sale), 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $849K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $879K, 660 Oliva St 3/2 $950K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 $979K, 750 Periwinkle Way 4/4 $1.998M.

8 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.65K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $719K; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $749K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $795K; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $998.5K; 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 now $2.175M; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $3,999,999.

6 new sales: 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 listed for $599K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $625K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 listed for $815K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 listed for $1.189M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 listed for $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $325K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $449K (our listing, photo below), 1691 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $469K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $570K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $630K, 5880 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $865K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $891K.

Front1

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sales: 223 Robinwood Cir listed for $195K.

2 closed sales: 2324 Starfish Ln $425K, 4334 West Gulf Dr $850K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $539K, Beach Homes 37 2/2 $1.795M, Beach Homes #8 3/3 $2.7M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed for $299.5K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1601 2/2 $1.225M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.025M, 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $2.175M.

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.

Best wishes for a great weekend, SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)