It’s Almost Easter 2014 on Sanibel Island


BirdofParadiseCaptivaIt has been the pre-Easter hustle-bustle on Sanibel and Captiva this week, with nice weather and the bike paths often full with vacationing families on spring holidays. Though the islands appear busier, our pals in the accommodations business advise that they are booked at only 75% this week, with about the same occupancy expected next week, after Saturday turn-overs.

At our last end of “season” Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting yesterday, it was obvious from the announcements that real estate sales have slowed down, price reductions are up, and the business population is looking forward to a little breather.

SanibelSusan put another condo listing under contract on Monday (love it when you can sell a listing yourself) and had a home listing close on Monday too. We held our new listing in Mariner Pointe open for Realtor caravan yesterday.

View from the Captiva house I showed today!

View from a house I showed today!

I was out showing Captiva homes again today. Season may be winding down but we still have buyers in town.

SanibelSusan listings had some showings this week too. None yet scheduled for the holiday weekend, but that can change once new visitors arrive tomorrow. I’ll be working tomorrow and ready for showing requests. 

Here are a few news items, followed by the week’s update on the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action.

Earth Day at the Refuge

Earthday2014 Tomorrow, Sat, April 19, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day in partnership with “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and Tarpon Bay Explorers. The first 200 visitors will get a free upcycled tee shirt bag, courtesy of DDWS. Throughout the day, visitors will meet and greet refuge educator Bagzilla, costumed in a year’s worth of an average person’s disposable bag consumption. There also are free bike rentals and Wildlife Drive admission for bikers and hikers to encourage visitors to get outdoors and get active. Events include:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Wildlife Dr free to bikers/hikers, only $5 fee per vehicle. Plein-art artists will be painting along Wildlife Dr during the day.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free bike rentals from Tarpon Bay Explorers at 900 Tarpon Bay Dr (returns by 6 p.m.).
  • 9 to 11 a.m. – Bike the Refuge Tour with a naturalist on the 4-mile drive to learn about bird life and ecology (meet at the flagpole).
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Ongoing Earth Crafts in the Education Center Classroom.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. – Guided Hike Along Indigo Trail with a naturalist (meet at the flagpole).
  • 10 to 11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 to 1:30 p.m., 2:30 to 4 p.m. & 4 to 5:30 p.m. – Narrated refuge tram tours (regular tram fees apply, tickets in booth in parking lot).
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Reading in the Refuge, family story-time about sea turtles at the Education Center Auditorium.
  • Noon to 12:30 p.m. – Let’s Talk Trash Marine Timeline competition for kids at Education Center Auditorium.
  • 1 to 1:30 p.m. – Reading in the Refuge, family story-time about manatees at the Education Center Auditorium.
  • 2 to 2:30 p.m. – Upcycle Trash. Learn how to turn trash into yarn, jewelry, & other masterpieces at Education Center Auditorium.

Another Update on Flood Insurance 

Heidrick & Co logoChris Heidrick, owner of Heidrick & Company Insurance, www.SanibelInsurance.com, one of our Association of Realtors® affiliate business partners, yesterday gave our members a quick update on the national flood insurance program. When the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed into law on March 21 to repeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s authority to increase premium rates when a property is sold (& more), consumers were advised that it would take some time for the government to interpret these changes. 

Chris advised us that “36 hours ago” they got that first interpretation (quoted during our 8 a.m. meeting). It is that starting immediately any new flood insurance policies and renewals on pre-FIRM properties (or those built before the initial flood insurance map was used in that community) will not require an elevation certificate and that the pre-FIRM insurance rates will apply. (Note: FIRM = Flood Insurance Rate Map).

That is great news! As an example, Chris described recent quotes he has made for island ground-level homes in the AE Zone (which is typically near beach but not gulf-front), where the flood cost will be $2K-$4K/year.

I expect that Chris will keep us further updated as more interpretations are received.

Lee County Watering Restrictions

Lee County_logoTo those heading home for the summer, remember that Lee County’s water restrictions remain in effect year-’round. Although the hot summer season is often called the rainy season too, unless you have an eco-friendly landscape, your lawns and vegetation may suffer without proper irrigation. The county rules are: 

Odd numbered addresses (those ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9) may only water on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays.

Even numbered addresses (those ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, & 8, or no address #) may water only on Thursdays and/or Sundays.

Approved watering times are between midnight & 9 a.m. &/or between 5 p.m. & midnight. No irrigating is allowed between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. OR on Monday, Tuesday, or Friday at any time.

If you want to make your yard more environmentally friendly and less water dependent, contact the Native Plant Nursery at SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) at www.sccf.org. They are a wonderful and helpful resource with a “landscaping for wildlife program” too. 

Sanibel Author Charlie Sobczak on C-SPAN

Living SanibelAfter being recommended by Margie Byers of the Lee County Library system, our real estate colleague and island author, Charlie Sobczak will appear on C-SPAN’s BookTV this Earth Day!

The segment, titled “Cities Tour” will focus on the unique literary stories and history of Ft. Myers, FL. Charlie’s book, “The Living Gulf Coast – A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida” will be mentioned, along with two of the destinations from the Lee County section of the book: J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Lover’s Key State Park.

C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network based out of Washington, D.C. and serves an estimated 100 million homes nationwide. The program is scheduled to air tomorrow and Sunday (April 19th and 20th, 2014) at noon (EST) on C-SPAN2 (Comcast channels 29 and 104 in Ft. Myers but check your cable provider for your local channels). After the broadcast, the segment will be archived and available online from www.series.c-span.org To learn more about the book, go to www.amazon.com or www.indigopress.net.

In Collier County, Charlie also will be speaking at 10:30 a.m., April 19, 2014, at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of Earth Day.  The Conservancy is at 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. The topic of the presentation is: Florida’s Wildlife: Past, Present and Future. 

SanibelSusan often includes an autographed copy of Charlie’s book “Living Sanibel” (a nature guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands) as one of their closing gifts. It is one of the best reference books about the area. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 11-18, 2014

 Sanibel
CONDOS

2 new listings: Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $624.9K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $699K.
3 price changes: Sundial #Q202 2/2 now $699K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $869K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.22M.
6 new sales: Captains Walk #C1 2/1 listed for $310K, Seashells #6 2/2 listed for $369K, Lighthouse Point #130 2/2 listed for $530K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 listed for $599K (our listing), Pine Cove #302 2/2 listed for $1.15M, Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 listed for $1.395M.
8 closed sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 $280K, Beach Road Villas #103 2/2 $325K, Sundial #I402 1/1 $335K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 $515K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $703K, Pine Cove #1A 2/2 $740K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 $1.325M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $1.75M.
HOMES
5 new listings: 1049 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $599,555; 1380 Jamiaca Dr 3/2 $619K; 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $749K; 1058 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $849K; 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 $1.589M.
10 price changes: 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $599.9K; 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $790K; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 now $848K; 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $899K; 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $899K; 1048 Kings Crown Dr 4/4 now $1,299,999; 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 now $1.448M; 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 now $2.498M.
5 new sales: 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 listed for $439K, 950 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $499K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $599K, (short sale), 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex listed for $698.5K, 2520 Harbour Ln 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M.
4 closed sales: 972 Fitzhugh St 3/2 $358K, 1960 Roseate Ln 3/2 $440K (our listing), 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $540K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 $735K.LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 1325 Eagle Run Dr now $475,555.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 5749 SanCap Rd $365K.

Captiva
CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 $599K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 now $662.5K.
No new or closed sales.
 
HOMES
No new listings.
2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $789.9K, 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $829K.
No new or closed sales.LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

Easter Clip ArtHappy Easter!

Spring Happenings & More Wonderful Weather on Sanibel Island


Beach in front of our new listing at Sand Pointe, by JMA Photography

Beach in front of our new listing at Sand Pointe, by JMA Photography

It’s SanibelSusan reporting that we experienced a reduction in both island traffic and phone calls this week. The real estate action slowed down some too, but I still managed to write a couple of offers. One remains in the negotiating stages and the other has been accepted verbally. Hopefully, I will have more to say on those next week. My teammates held new condo listings open for Realtor Caravan yesterday with good attendance both from Realtors® and walk-ins. Most likely we will see another spurt of activity over the next week and through the Easter Holiday weekend, but things here are definitely slowing down.

Mariner Pointe fishing pier, by JMA Photography

Mariner Pointe fishing pier, by JMA Photography

Here are some news items, followed by the real estate action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Spring Happenings on Sanibel

CROW logoApril 12 – Sat – CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) Antique, Fine Art and Estate Jewelry Sale & Auction at The Community House. This day-long event includes: A “Buy It Now” sale 1 to 7:30 p.m.; professional appraisals being offered 1 to 3 p.m. (up to three items at $5/item, cash only); Live Auction begins at 5:30 p.m.; cash bar & complimentary hors d’oeuvres donated by Island Restaurants beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 donation to CROW.

Dunes logosanibel school seahorseApril 12 – Sat – The Sanibel School Seahorse Festival at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, 4 to 8 p.m. Open to the public with family-friendly games & activities on the lawn, plus face painting, silent auction, live band, bounce house, food & refreshments. View & bid on auction items from your Smartphone. Visit www.SanibelSchool.org to view auction items online. The Sanibel School has been awarded the National Blue Ribbon status as a top-performing public school since 2007. Adults free, children $10.

Sanibel Sea schoolApril 12 – Sat – Sanibel Sea School “Octifest” on Causeway Island A at 6:30 p.m. includes evening of cocktails, auction items, sunset, & dinner. Call 472-8585 for reservations.

CCA logoApril 15 – Tues – Captiva Memories: Artists & Authors at The Captiva Community Center at 7:30 p.m. includes a premier screening of a new film by filmmaker Rusty Farst. Commissioned by The Captiva Historic Society capturing oral histories about significant artists and writers who found inspiration and solitude on Captiva (includes interviews about Robert Rauschenberg, Anne Morrow Lindberg, J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling, and Maybelle Stamper. Free and open to the public, but reservations required (call 239-472-2323).

Ding Darling Society logoApril 16 – Wed – ‘Ding’ Darling Upcycle Art Fest at ‘Ding’ Darling Visitor & Education Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Preview the works at www.DingDarlingSociety.org/upcycle-gallery. Activities at the UpCycle include artist exhibits, art sale, make-&-take crafts for kids & adults, & environmental slide presentations. No cost for admission. More info at www.UpcycleArtFest.com.

Childrens ctr logoApril 19 – Sat – 20th Annual Children’s Center Spring Festival at Sanibel City Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes Easter egg hunt, bounce house, giant slide, sack races, face painting, piñatas, photo booth, silent auction, games, crafts, food, contests, nail painting, & tattoos. Cost is $10 for unlimited activities.

zebra yogurt logoApril 19 – Sat – Easter Party at Zebra Frozen Yogurt in the Bailey’s Center from 3 to 4 p.m. with live butterfly release, face painting, goodie bags, games & prizes, & frozen yogurt.

A Cool Mobile App

YPN logoI read an on-line article this week on “Real Estate News” in the Helpful Tools, Technology & Social Media section of the YPN Lounge of “Realtor®Mag’s” Blogs. YPN is a group within the national and state Association of Realtors®. It stands for “Young Professionals Network”. The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association recently started a chapter here, but they also call it “Your Professional Network”, so we old duffers who wish we were young also can participate.

The article included info on a couple of “mobile apps that you (and your customers) will love.” It was provided by Anand Patel, broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa.

Here is his write-up on the app that I tried out using the office location:

“Sitegeist – Have you ever been out showing property with buyers and while standing in front of a house they start asking you questions about the neighborhood that you know are probably in violation of fair housing laws? I have my agents ask their buyers to download the Sitegeist app which pulls all sorts of public records data based on your geo-location. Sitegeist pulls from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Foursquare, Yelp, Weather Underground, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The app will tell a user based on their location things such as:

  • How people commute – car, public transportation, walk, bike
  • Median home values
  • Average rent
  • Number of males vs. females in the immediate area
  • Household incomes
  • Number of children under the age of five
  • Median age of homes
  • Number of housing units

And a lot more…

“See how your customers may find this information useful? And also see how much safer it is when the data is coming from a third party without you having to tip toe around the questions? Believe me, your customers will be wowed and your broker relieved when you start using and sharing this app. I also personally use this app when analyzing commercial real estate in markets I am not too familiar with….

“A common question that I get asked when I share this app with agents, colleagues and customers is “how far around me is this data pulling from?” Because the data is coming from multiple sources and each source has different criteria for what they consider to be “nearby” there is no single answer to this question. For example, the U.S Census Bureau data measures geographic area by the census tract, political contributions are measured by zip code, the EPA uses a 5-mile radius, and Foursquare and Yelp each have their own algorithm to come up with what constitutes a geographic area around you. Regardless of how far around you the data is pulling from, the aesthetically appealing graphics, easy to read design and quick access to relevant data make it a must have when your buyers are house-hunting.

“Sitegeist is also free and you can download it here: sitegeist.sunlightfoundation.com“.

Here are the results that were posted when I keyed in our SanibelSusan Realty office location on Periwinkle Way:

People: Median age: 65 yrs 6 months; Children under 5: 62 at 0.05 kids per household in 1,181 households; Household Incomes: 54.1% over $100K; Gender: 50.8% male; Political contributions: $193,854 (Republicans), $70,918 (Democrats).

Housing: Median Home Value $606,700; Average Rent: $1,630/month; 10% of people rent; How People Commute: 75% by car.

Fun: Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sweet Melissa’s Cafe, Jerry’s Foods; Explore: Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory; 2 Movie Theaters within 5 miles;

Weather: 76 degrees F and clear right now; Average temps for today: high 84; low 62; Record temperatures for today: 93 high (in 1944), 47 low (in 1950);

History: Median Age of Homes: 31 years.

Here are the results that changed when I keyed in my home in Sanibel Estates on the east-end:

People: Median age: 64 yrs 7 months; Children under 0: no children in 1,426 households; Household Incomes: 41% over $100K; Gender: 53.9% female.

Housing: Median Home Value $685,900; Average Rent: $1,036/month; 16% of people rent; How People Commute: 72% by car.

Fun: Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier; Explore: She Sells Sea Shells.

History: Median Age of Homes: 37 years.

Remodeled Captiva Civic Association Building Now Open

CaptivaOut on Captiva, be sure and check out the new Captiva Civic Association building which includes a new Captiva history museum and a new reading area in the expanded Captiva Library. The cleverly conceived and created History Gallery takes on the wooden look of the interior of the old mail boat, ‘Santiva’ which serviced the islands prior to the construction of the Sanibel Causeway in 1963.

The boat windows feature interpretive panels and touch screen access to historic photos. In addition, visitors can enjoy looking out through the windows of the boat to the ‘views’ that passengers saw as they cruised between Fort Myers and the islands. The room also has a ‘launch pad’ area where visitors can learn about other historic sites and museums in the area such as Useppa Museum, Boca Grande, Randall Research Center at Pineland, and the Sanibel Historical Village. More info at www.CaptivaIslandHistoricalSociety.org.

The whole project began last spring, adding almost 1,200 sq.ft. to the 7,400-sq.ft. building at 11550 Chapin Lane. The facility was originally constructed in 1961 and expanded several times including the addition of the wing for the Captiva branch of the Lee County Library in 1970. All of the funds for the renovation came from member donations even though the Captiva Community Center complex includes a public library and local sheriff’s deputy residence. CCA was founded in 1936 at the old Fisherman’s Lodge to foster road repair, construction of a city dock, vegetation control and general improvement of the island. It met at various homes and public places until 1949 when it took over the old schoolhouse, which is not the Captiva Chapel by the Sea. A decade later, it moved into an adjacent part of the one-engine firehouse built on the existing site of CCA.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 4-11, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS

1 new listing: Tanglewood #1A 3/2 $1.179M.

3 price changes: Sundial #I103 1/1 now $375K, Kimball Lodge #304 2/2 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $549.9K.

8 new sales: Sanibel Shores #2 2/1 listed for $299K, Sanibel Moorings #1322 2/2 listed for $419K; Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 listed for $449,999; Loggerhead Cay #121 2/2 listed for $699K; Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 listed for $749K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 listed for $789K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 listed for $997.5K, Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 listed for $1/395M.

5 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #362 2/2 $480K, Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 $550K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 $575K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 $587K, Pointe Santo #B23 2/2 $580K (our listing).

HOMES

7 new listings: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 $349K, 589 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $499K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 $599K (short sale), 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $635K, 766 Sand Dollar Dr 4/5.5 $1.495M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 $1.849M, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.95M.

4 price changes: 736 Cardium St 3/2 now $439K, 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $442K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 $1.095M, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 now $1/349M.

11 new sales: 1890 Farm Trail 3/2 listed for $449K, 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 listed for $489K, 696 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed for $575K, 1838 Long Point Ln 3/2 listed for $639K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 listed for $809K, 1818 Buckthorn Ln 3/3 listed for $875K, 1759 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed for $995K, 2749 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed for $995K, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 listed for $995K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed for $1.098M, 5612 Baltusrol Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.695M.

6 closed sales: 450 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $575K, 3808 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $650.2K, 1827 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $735K, 750 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $785K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1M, 1480 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.31M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6411 Pine Ave $349K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 761 Donax St $204K, 1898 Woodring Rd $2.05M.

Captiva
CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2B 2/2 $797.5K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2634 3/3 listed for $840K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 listed for $5.995M.

1 closed sale: 11527 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2/35M.

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.

 Happy weekend to all!

Another Friday with Gorgeous Weather & Hot Real Estate Activity on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another week of good real estate activity on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Remember those four new condo listings that I mentioned in my blog last Friday? Well, one already is under contract. Another condo listing sold over the weekend and our only home listing now is under contract too. I also was out two days showing homes this week. We love being busy, especially when there are good results!

View from Kings Crown #302

View from Kings Crown #302

“Season” is Winding Down

united_states_post_office_112279None of our new listings were vacant for Realtor Caravan this week, so we were not able to hold them open, but occupancy will be changing.

I heard at the Post Office yesterday that they already are fielding inquiries from snowbirds getting ready to forward their mail for the summer. Some may be ready to head north, meaning traffic will most likely be easing up in the upcoming weeks. Our rental company colleagues advise that some properties have already transitioned from their high “season” winter rates to shoulder rates and even summer rates. 

San Cap LogoBelow are a few news items followed by the week’s Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity report which shows the islands real estate busy-ness. Sanibel inventory is now less than it has been in a long time. Until sales have closed, the general public does not know how the market has changed, but here is a little sampling:

  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 34 Sanibel condos closed. This year during the same period, 37 have closed, BUT another 48 are under contract. That’s 84 condo sales already this year, compared to 161 in all of 2013 (compared to 86 in all of 2007). 140 Sanibel condos remain for sale.
  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 51 Sanibel homes closed. This year during the same period, 54 have closed, BUT another 46 are under contract. That’s 100 home sales already this year, compared to 197 in all of 2013 (compared to 124 in all of 2010). 194 Sanibel homes remain for sale.
  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 5 Sanibel lots closed. This year during the same period, 7 have closed, BUT another 7 are under contract. That’s 14 lot sales already this year, compared to 26 in all of 2013 (compared to 11 in all of 2009). 90 Sanibel lots remain for sale.

As follow-up to my blog posting last week about the good funding in Florida’s new budget for water quality improvement solutions, here is some more positive news on the same subject. 

Pumping Polluted Water Into Lake Okeechobee Must Stop, Judge Rules

earth justice logoPosted on Earthjustice.org on Friday, March 28:

“A major decision in federal court today will put an end to government-sanctioned pollution that’s been fouling Lake Okeechobee for more than three decades. The case, first filed in 2002 by Earthjustice, challenged the practice of “back-pumping.” For years, South Florida sugar and vegetable growers have used the public’s waters, pumped out of giant Lake Okeechobee, to irrigate their fields. They wash the water over their industrial-sized crops, where it is contaminated with fertilizers and other pollutants. Then, they get taxpayers in the South Florida Water Management District to pay to pump the contaminated water back into Lake Okeechobee, where it pollutes public drinking water supplies. Lake Okeechobee provides drinking water for West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, and the entire Lower East Coast metropolitan area.

“Earthjustice contended that the South Florida Water Management District was violating the Clean Water Act by allowing the agricultural companies to send fertilizer-laden water into public water supplies, instead of cleaning it up first.

“U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in the Southern District of New York ruled today that the water transfer practice does, indeed, violate the Clean Water Act. The case ended up in New York because clean-water groups and several states also challenged the practice of allowing dirty water transfers into public water supplies without Clean Water Act protections. All the cases – including Earthjustice’s Florida case – on behalf of Friends of the Everglades, Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club – were  bundled together.

“”It’s well established by now that a city can’t just dump sewage into a river – they’ve got to clean it first,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “The same principal applies here with water pumped from contaminated drainage canals.” “This victory has been a long time coming,” said Florida Wildlife Federation president Manley Fuller. “Stopping pollution at the source is the key to cleaning up South Florida’s water pollution problems – the toxic green slime in the rivers, the dead wildlife washing up in the shores, the contaminated drinking water — and this decision will make that happen at long last.” “Big sugar corporations have been illegally dumping dirty water into Lake Okeechobee for years.  They won’t be able to do that anymore, thanks to this very important decision by the federal courts,” said Sierra Club’s Florida Staff Director, Frank Jackalone.

“Transfers of contaminated water have triggered numerous toxic algae outbreaks around the United States.  The algae growths can make people sick and sometimes kill livestock or pets that drink the water.  The drinking water supplies for millions of Americans across the country have been affected, including notable cases in Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, and California. The dirty water is a health risk for pregnant women, and taxpayers are on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional treatment costs while polluters put more profits in their pockets. 

““Instead of tightening protections and cleaning up the pollution, the EPA chose to legalize it,” said Albert Slap, attorney for Friends of the Everglades. “Now the courts have settled it – the South Florida Water Management District has to comply with the Clean Water Act.””

BIG ARTS 2nd Annual Photography Scavenger Hunt

photo-scavenger-imageSanibelSusan is the sponsor for this BIG ARTS scholarship program fundraiser next week (Tues April 8). At this 2nd Annual event, BIG ARTS invites all aspiring photography buffs to embark on a conceptual scavenger hunt. The adventure begins at 3 p.m. when teams pick up their clues at BIG ARTS. Each team will use one digital camera to capture images inspired by the given clues. Thinking “outside the box” is encouraged.

Teams must return by 5 p.m. and hand in their camera’s memory chip. While the teams are enjoying a gourmet boxed dinner, the collected images will be gathered together for judging and display. 

Steve Greenstein will serve as the emcee. During a wine and desert reception at 6 p.m., the images will be showcased on the big screen at BIG ARTS and prizes will be awarded for the best images. Team member tickets are $45 which includes dinner and reception. Reception only tickets are $8. 

Sanibel’s Civic Core Master Plan Updated

Sanibelcityseal logoThe latest version of the civic and cultural core plan was presented to Sanibel City Council this week. The architect creating the conceptual plan that would consolidate BIG ARTS, the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, Center4Life, and The Community House onto a 25-acre site along with City Hall, the Sanibel Public Library, and the Public Works Department shared the most recent plans for the project which was earlier approved by all stakeholders.

The plan is both bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, plus provides a net gain of almost twice as many parking spaces. It has gone through 33 versions. Unanimously approved by Council to move forward, future work on the plan will continue a “village approach” relying upon stakeholder and public input, developing a budget which may include applying for grants.

It’s Snowy Plover Time Again

snowy ploversIf you need education on the staked nests on the beach now or the families of little birds with tiny chicks running around, be sure to go to the SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) presentation on Tues Apr 8.

Learn more about their ongoing snowy plover research and the conservation efforts on Sanibel and around Florida. 

Site Names Top 10 Best Downtowns in U.S.

Photo by Jeremy Harvey/Courtesy of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

Photo by Jeremy Harvey/Courtesy of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

Having lived in Olde Town Alexandria, VA for many years before moving to Sanibel, I got a kick out of reading this article in “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to www.Livability.com.

““The best downtowns instill a sense of pride in their cities,” according to Livability.com. The website recently ranked the top 10 best downtowns for 2014. Among the factors analyzed for the list, say the editors, were data on improvement in retail and office vacancy rates, the number of people moving to the area, income growth, unemployment, and the ratio of people who live and work in the downtown.

“Having a great downtown is about more than just having a great main street,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability.com editor. “A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.”

“Livability listed the following downtowns as tops in 2014:

  1. Fort Worth, TX
  2. Providence, RI
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Provo, UT
  5. Alexandria, VA
  6. Frederick, MD
  7. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  8. Bellingham, WA
  9. Eugene, OR
  10. Birmingham, AL.” 

Vacation Home Tip Sheet

RSPS LogoAs the author and instructor for one of the segments required for Realtors® to earn the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Specialist designation, SanibelSusan is always on the lookout for information to share on the “Resort and Second-Home” market. I hold the Resort & Second Home Property Specialist designation.

Here’s a summary tip sheet posted on-line at “RealtorMag” by Barbara Ballinger with the six factors buyers need to consider when investing in a second home.

“1. Keep costs within the budget.

2. Determine the frequency of use.

3. Pick the right location.

4. Understand upkeep.

5. Research rental potential and costs.

6. Think about resale and changing needs.” 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 28-April 4, 2014

ASSOC LogoSanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Shores #2 2/1 $299K, Seashells #6 2/2 $369K, Coquina Beach #3H 2/2 $2/2 $424K, Breakers West #B5 2/2 $459K, Beachcomber #C102 2/2 $1.575M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #3 2/2 now $493K, Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 now $849K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.27M, Plantation Village #B321 3/3 now $2.299M.

8 new sales: Seawind #A102 2/2.5 listed for $397.9K, Island Beach Club #310F 2/2 listed for $474K (our listing), Sunset South #1B 2/2 listed for $534K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 listed for $715K, Pine Cove 31A 2/2 listed for $779K, Kings Crown #302 2/2 listed for $899K (our listing), High Tide #A102 3/2.5 listed for $1.299M.

7 closed sales: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 $269K, Sundial #G105 1/1 $305K, Sundial #G401 2/2 $412K, Blind Pass #C203 3/2.5 $ 461K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $490K, Lighthouse Point #324 3/2 $635K, Kings Crown #303 2/2 $930K. 

HOMES

5 new listings: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $489K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 $799K, 1818 Buckthorn Ln 3/3 $875K, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 $3.345M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 $5.295M.

15 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $315K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 now $439K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $489K, 950 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $499K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $499K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $710K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $725K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $799K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $889.5K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 now $890K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $925K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 now $949K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 now $979K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.098M, 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.35M (short sale).

8 new sales: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed for $449K, 1344 Tahiti Dr 2/1 listed for $450K, 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed for $499K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 listed for $598K, 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $770K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 listed for $799K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed for $999K (our listing), 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 listed for $1M.

6 closed sales: 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $425K, 1787 Serenity Ln 3/2 $520K, 617 E Rocks Dr 3/2 $585K, 231 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $935K, 836 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $995K, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.35M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $165.9K, 2324 Starfish Ln now $495K.

1 new sale: 3334 Saint Kilda Rd listed for $315K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $1.045M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $258.5K, Tennis Villas #3139 2/2 $380K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 $2.394M.

2 price changes: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 now $929K, 16814 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $7.495M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.749M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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

Happy weekend to all, from SanibelSusan…

More fantastic weather with temperatures in the 70′s is expected for the next week…island perfect!

Beach

Traffic Kindness & Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva


RacoonPeekingIt’s another Happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. Once again it was a busy seven days on the islands. SanibelSusan listings had good inquiries and showing activity. One listing went under contract. Another has been accepted verbally, and several offers on other listings are being negotiated. We got four new condo listings too, all with showings already scheduled tomorrow. A report below after a couple of news items lists all of the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It was another good week for real estate even with the heavy traffic.

Speaking of traffic, I read the below editorial by Sidney B. Simon in yesterday’s edition of the “Island Reporter” and asked him if I could share it in my blog. With his permission, here it is:

Traffic Kindness

traffic-jam-cartoon-cars-waiting-31833185“To the editor: Traffic is awful. Tempers flare. Road rage is pending. And just think what it would be like without those marvelous, competent Traffic Police? So yell a thanks as you go by.

“But, there’s something else each of us could do. We could, yes we could, let someone in. For example, when we see a car that has to make a left turn coming down from the library. Or even a right turn coming out of Dixie Beach. Or any turn coming out of one of the shopping centers or the post office.

“A little traffic kindness could ease the pain. And, here’s a simple plan to encourage that.

“If you drive an SUV and you see an SUV trying to get onto Periwinkle, you stop traffic and let it in, and include one other car behind it, not matter what it is. It’s amazing what one SUV can do to help.

“Now, take it further. Every pickup truck lets in a pickup truck. Every convertible could make it a habit to let any other convertible in. Every German car lets a German car onto Periwinkle. You know you German cars can recognize a Mercedes, a BMW, or VW. Let one in. Then every Japanese or Korean car owner, stops and welcomes in one of their breed. Hummers and Yugos may have some problems. If you drive anything else, I leave it to you to figure out what kindness you want to perform.

“One of the nice things about being stuck in traffic, you and your passengers can start a conversation about kindness, how it needs to be encouraged, and what we can teach our grandkids about some of the kindnesses we have done during our long life. Kindness is one of the legacies we leave behind. I welcome your comments. Sidney B. Simon, Sanibel Island”

REALTORS® Forecast Home Price Increases

US Map mar14_DN_confidenceThis article was posted on Monday on “Daily Real Estate News”. With the wonderful weather in Florida this winter, I bet Florida ends up leading the pack in this year – particularly on the islands where most buyers pay cash.

“REALTORS® expect home prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months. But they expect them to do so at a moderate pace, given tight credit conditions and the chipping away of home affordability, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index, a monthly survey distributed to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners to gauge expectations over home sales, prices, and market conditions.

“Real estate professionals reported a median price expectation of 3.9% over the next 12 months. The states where practitioners are predicting the biggest increases—5 to 7%—are in California, Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift home values in these areas, according to the survey. “In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, and the D.C.-metro area, the expected price increase is about 3 to 5%,” according to the report.

“Real estate professionals also expressed several concerns over the housing market holding back some buyers, particularly due to “unreasonably” tight credit conditions. “Access to credit was often cited as a deterrent to home buying,” according to the report. “About 13% of REALTORS® who did not close a sale in February reported having clients who could not obtain financing.” In those cases, about 6% of the professionals said their buyer gave up, while 7% said their buyer continued to seek new or other financing. Other transaction hang-ups were lack of agreement on a price (accounting for 11%); buyer losing a home to competition (10%); and appraisal issues (3%).”

FEMA Outlines Next Steps for Flood Insurance Law

FloridaRealtors® on-line posted the following notice yesterday:

capitol“In testimony before a U.S. House subcommittee, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate talked about the timing of implementation. He suggested that homeowners and buyers be patient – it may take awhile for the law’s mandates to filter down to insurance agents.

“President Obama signed the flood insurance law on Friday, but FEMA has up to eight months to develop guidance for insurance companies, according to Lisa Jones, a consultant hired by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to navigate the complicated law. And after FEMA solidifies the new rules, insurers have up to six months to retool their software.

“Rep. Steven Palazzo, vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, asked Fugate at a hearing yesterday if there was a way to fast-track the process. According to Fugate, the first step is to explain the grandfathering clause – where a homebuyer pays the same rate as a home seller in areas where FEMA subsidizes some flood insurance rates – to insurance agents in the field because “It’s going to take time to get that out there to every agent and get that into the system.”

“Fugate says buyers, at least in the short term, may have to work with both their insurance agent and FEMA to get the correct flood insurance rate. FEMA “may need to handle some of the immediate (flood insurance rate requests) – literally, hand-walk it through the process until the system is fully up and running with the new changes,” he testified.

“Fugate pointed to one part of the new law that would take time to calculate: A mandate that no single premium exceed 18%, and “we’re looking at the timeframes you gave us to do refunds” for homeowners who already paid a higher flood insurance premium.

“Fugate said the new mandatory caps will also impact all calculations for rate increases, and it will take FEMA time to do that, followed by software changes to programs that insurers use to quote rates to homeowners.”

Florida Working to Protect Water Quality

floridaHere is some excellent news. These excerpts are from a www.flgov.org article entitled “Governor Rick Scott’s FY 2014-2015 Recommended Budget Highlights”. That budget is now approved! This is all good news for Southwest Florida. The next step is to get the Federal Government to be more proactive on water quality too. Florida Realtors® locally, state, and nationally have been pushing for this for years!

“Protecting Florida’s Economy, Water Supply, and Environment through the Restoration of the South Florida Ecosystem and Florida’s Everglades: The Governor’s It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget commits an historic $180 million dollars towards restoring and protecting the Everglades and Florida Keys. This is a $110 million increase from the FY 2013-2014 budget.

“Florida’s Everglades: The Governor continues his commitment to Everglades by committing $130 million for restoration projects.

• Restoring America’s Everglades means reestablishing its natural water flow to the 2.4 million-acre marsh, reviving habitat for more than 60 threatened and endangered species, creating a reliable water supply for millions of Floridians and providing flood control to South Florida.

• The funds provided will implement the Governor’s water quality plan for the Everglades and continue the state’s commitment to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). It will also fund critical projects such as the Kissimissee River restoration and the raising of an additional 2.6 miles of Tamiami Trail to allow more water to flow into Everglades National Park.

• In addition, funding is provided to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for implementation of agricultural nonpoint source controls in the Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee, and St. Lucie River watersheds. Together, these projects will provide clean water for the Everglades and reduce the excessive flow of water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River estuaries.

“Wastewater Treatment Upgrades: The Governor’s Budget also provides $50 million for wastewater treatment upgrades in the Florida Keys.

“Protecting Florida’s Springs, Lakes, Rivers, and Estuaries: Governor Scott’s Budget provides $55 million for springs protection and restoration, including ensuring the protection of the groundwater supply in Central and North Florida. This is a $45 million increase in funding from FY 2013-14.
Governor Scott’s Budget also provides the following funding for water resource protection:
• $17 million for nonpoint source pollution management grants;
• $9.4 million for total maximum daily loads;
• $77.2 million for drinking water facility construction, an increase of $4.3 million from FY 2013-2014;
• $161.6 for wastewater treatment facility/storm water construction, an increase of $18.8 million from FY 2013-2014; and $8 million for lake restoration.

“Protecting Beaches: Over 220 miles of beaches, or 55% of all Florida beaches, that were designated as critically eroded have been restored and maintained through partnerships with local, state, and federal governments. Governor Scott’s Budget provides $25 million of financial assistance to local and state governments and special taxing authorities for beach and dune restoration, beach nourishment, inlet sand bypassing, regional sediment management and innovative projects. This funding adds to the more than $393 million in state funding for beach and inlet management provided over the last 10 years.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 21-28, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
6 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #1322 2/2 $419K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $599K (our listing), Sand Pointe #122 2/2 $749K (our listing), Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $874K (our listing), Kings Crown #302 2/2 $899K (our listing), Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 $1.395M.
6 price changes: Captains Walk #C1 2/1 now $310K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $455K, Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 now $474K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $595K, Sandals #D 4/3 now $1.975M, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.295M.
9 new sales: Donax Village #9 1/1 listed for $249.9K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 listed for $349K, Sanibel Arms #C4 2/2 listed for $489.9K, Compass Point #212 2/2 listed for $569K, Pointe Santo #E32 2/2 listed for $739K, Sundial #E208 2/2 listed for $799K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 listed for $869K, Beachcomber #C302 2/2 listed for $1.695M, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 listed for $2.55M.
2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $170K, Sundial #O205 2/2 $755K.

HOMES
5 new listings: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 $350K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $525K, 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $579K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 $599K, 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $599K.
11 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $324K; 1481 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $524K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $569,555; 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $614K; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $627.7K; 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 now $729.75K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $749K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $825K; 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.79M; 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.795M; 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.459M.
8 new sales: 531 Birdsong Place 3/2 listed for $448K; 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed for $449K; 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 listed for $545K; 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $549K; 1356 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed for $674K; 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $825K; 909 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 listed for $1,199,999; 5423 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.479M.
3 closed sales: 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $545K, 1705 Serenity Ln 3/2.5 $551.75K, 211 Daniel Dr 3/2 $725K.

LOTS
1 new listing: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd $240K.
2 price changes: 667 Birdie View Pt now $349K, 5830 SanCap Rd now $395,555.
2 new sales: 1118 Sand Castle Rd listed for $199K (our listing), 5749 San Cap Rd listed for $399,555.
1 closed sale: 990 Beach Rd $525K.

Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5128 1/2 $325K, Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $622.5K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES
1 new listing: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 $4.495M.
1 price change: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.495M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 15127 Captiva Dr 8/8 multi-family $1.45M.
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.

’til next Friday, this Realtor will be working 24/7.
It’s a great time of the year in the real estate business on the islands! Woohooo!
SanibelSusan

HeronSurf

Update to SanibelSusan’s Friday Blog, 3/21/14


Good news, President Obama has signed the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act”, so the items reported in my earlier blog posting today should be realities soon (or pretty soon, depending on how fast the Government interpretations and implementations take).

It’s a Happy Friday with this news, just the same!

Spring Has Sprung on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


There has been lots of island traffic this week, probably because the county schools are closed for spring break, plus the increased activity from the lingering winter weather elsewhere. 

Woodring Point Osprey Imposter, photo from The Shews

Woodring Point Osprey Imposter, photo from The Shews

Here are a couple of news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

March Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday was our local Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting with two speakers:

osprey from IOFThe International Osprey Foundation – The first speaker was Jim Griffith from The International Osprey Foundation. The International Osprey Foundation is dedicated to the continuing preservation and recovery of the osprey, others in the raptor family, wildlife and the environment as a whole. The foundation conducts monitoring activities and accumulates data specific to the breeding activities of the osprey population on Sanibel.

Jim said that back in the early 1900′s the island was home to about 60 osprey nests. These raptors have 360-degree vision, are expert fishers (they are also known as the fish hawk), and reside in almost any area that has a large body of water.EllieOsprey03-10-13With the introduction of the pesticide DTT, development, predators, and Mother Nature, the number of nests declined. Nests on Sanibel were at a low following the storms of 2004/2005, but today there are 133. Though these birds like to nest on tall Norfolk pines and electrical poles, here about 40% of the nests are now on man-made platforms which LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) often assists the foundation in erecting.

If you need help in adding a nesting pole to your property or in relocating an existing nest, contact Jim through the Foundations web site www.ospreys.com.

DaveLakeMurexOspreyTo move a nest, a permit is required from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These local nests are monitored every few weeks (Jan through May) by a group of 40 volunteers who reported that 97 osprey chicks fledged on Sanibel last year.

Realtor & Assoc Board Member, Lori Pierot making presentation to Jim Griffith for the International Osprey Foundation.

Realtor & Assoc Board Member, Lori Pierot making presentation to Jim Griffith for the International Osprey Foundation.

As part of our Realtors® continued support of island non-profits and charities, The International Osprey Foundation was presented with a donation from the Association of Realtors®.

Jim also reported that Sanibel now has a new species too, the swallow-tailed kite. At the Foundation annual meeting at The Community House on Sunday (Mar 23) at 7 p.m., Dr. Ken Meyer, an avian researcher, will be the keynote speaker. He is an expert on these birds. One of the most beautiful birds in Florida, the unmistak­able, elegant swallow-tailed kite is recognizable for its deeply forked tail, distinctive black and white plumage, and graceful aerial displays.

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrFlood Insurance Update - Kim Kovacs from Heidrick & Company Insurance updated members on the bill that was passed in the Senate last week and is awaiting signature by the President. Though still not official, it looks like some relief is in sight. How long will it take for the President to sign and then FEMA to determine how to implement the bill? Kim said FEMA told her company that it will be at “lightning speed”. More realistically that probably means 6 months to a year.

Here’s a summary of what is in this new bill. It is from an article by Andrews G. Simpson, posted on www.insurancejournal.com on March 13:

Prevents Skyrocketing Rate Increases

Creates a firewall on annual rate increases – Prevents FEMA from raising the average rates for a class of properties above 15% and from raising rates on individual policies above 18% per year for virtually all properties.

Repeals the property sales trigger – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that required homebuyers to pay the full-risk rate for pre-FIRM properties at the time of purchase. This provision caused property values to steeply decline and made many homes unsellable, hurting the real estate market. Under the Menendez/Grimm Bill, homebuyers will receive the same treatment as the home seller.

Repeals the new policy sales trigger – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that required pre-FIRM property owners to pay the full-risk rate if they voluntarily purchase a new policy. This provision dis-incentivizes property owners from making responsible decisions and could hurt program participation. The Menendez/Grimm Bill allows pre-FIRM property owners to voluntarily purchase a policy under pre-FIRM conditions.

Reinstates grandfathering – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that would have terminated grandfathering. If grandfathering was terminated, property owners mapped into higher risk would have to either elevate their structure or have higher rates phased in over 5 years. The Menendez/Grimm Bill allows grandfathering to continue and sets hard caps on how high premiums can increase annually.

Refunds homeowners who overpaid – Requires FEMA to refund policyholders for overpaid premiums.

Affordability goal – Requires FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums that exceed one percent of the total coverage provided by the policy.”

Fun Events by The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum 

Here are a couple of announcements from the Shell Museum’s recent on-line newsletter:

Adventure catamaranMarine Naturalist Adventure Cruise – The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and Captiva Cruises present an ecological expedition that will educate and excite marine enthusiasts. Join a Marine Naturalist from the Museum for an unforgettable day with a small group aboard the 40′ sailing catamaran “Adventure”. Trips from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include cruise, lunch, and admission to the Museum. Call ahead for reservations and sailing dates: 239-472-5300.

SCCF_walk_at_Island_InnBeach Walks at Island Inn – Tuesdays at 10 a.m., join the Marine Naturalist at the Island Inn to learn about the shells, the mollusks that created them, and other marine life.

Parking at Island Inn is free for participants, but space is limited so reservations are required. Island Inn is at 3111 West Gulf Dr.

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts

EntireChorus_03-20-13 Cropped SmallThe BIG ARTS Chorus and their special Ensemble have performed at various locations this winter, from many holiday events to singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at a Minnesota Twins game, to providing musical entertainment at the FISH Annual Volunteer Luncheon & a Center4Life Dinner Meeting, to belting out Irish tunes at Bailey Center’s St. Patty’s Day Fest.

Irish Fest 2014, photo from Blanaid Colley,  Zebra Yogurt, Hillgate Communications, & fellow alto

Irish Fest 2014, photo from Blanaid Colley, Zebra Yogurt, Hillgate Communications, & fellow alto

I’ve missed some of the daytime events with work obligations, but will be part of both groups performing next week during their evening Spring Concerts.

Tickets are going fast at BIG ARTS, rumor has it that they are nearly sold out already for both nights. Hope to see you Tues Mar 25 or Thurs Mar 27 at 7 p.m. at Shein Performance Hall on the BIG ARTS campus.

The program includes a wide repertoire including “A Patriotic Salute” (SanibelSusan gets to toot a kazoo in this one), “Ching a Ring Chaw”, “My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth” (PDQ Bach), Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia”, Brahms “Neue Liebeshlieder Waltzes”. Then after intermission, things will liven up with “We Love the 50′s” and a medley from “Guys & Dolls” (fun costumes and other surprises in the second half both nights).

guys-and-dolls(2)The Chorus now is 85+strong (no auditions necessary). Rehearsals run from each October through March on Tuesday nights at BIG ARTS. The 30-some member Ensemble requires an audition and has an extra rehearsal each week. We are always looking for new members. It has been fun to see this group grow and become so “in demand”. I was one of the original members when it all started in 1992. Singing provides good real estate therapy too. Think of joining us when you are in town!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 21-28, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Breakers West #B1 2/2 $449K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $869K, Wedgewood #306 3/3.5 $1.379M, Beachcomber #C302 2/2 $1.695M.
7 price changes: Tennisplace #B24 2/1 now $305K; Captains Walk #B4 2/2 now $325K; Sundial #C301 1/1 now $335K; Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 now $339K; Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 now $449,999; Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 now $$715K; Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.32M.
9 new sales: Beach Road Villas #102 2/2 listed for $349K, Sundial #I402 1/1 listed for $379K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed for $384.9K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 listed for $599K, Sanibel Arms #F8 2/2 listed for $849K, Villa Sanibel #1G 2/2 listed for $875K, Anglers Key #201 3/3 listed for $1.699M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 listed for $1.899M, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 listed for $2.55M. 
10 closed sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 $218K, Sundial #H203 2/2 $450K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 $585K, Kings Crown #210 2/2 $625K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $805K, Plantation Village #A112 3/2 $975K, Gulfside Place #307 2/2 $1.1M, Gulfside Place #319 3/2 $1.145M (our listing), Atrium #206 3/2 $1.24M, Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 $2M.
 
HOMES
7 new listings: 2007 Mitzi Ln 3/2 $399K, 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 $399K, 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 $463K, 1477 Albatross Rd 4/3 $598.8K, 1063 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $675K, 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $698K, 235 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1.195M.
14 price changes: 409 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 now $393K, 1344 Tahiti Dr 2/1 now $450K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $629K (short sale), 1356 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $674K, 1021 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 now $749K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 now $799K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 now $809K, 501 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 now $835K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 now $838K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $874K, 4444 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $949K, 2520 Harbour Ln 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 now $1.198M,
8 new sales: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed for $449K, 2050 Sunrise Cir 3/2 listed for $548.9K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 listed for $595K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $749K, 5690 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed for $799.9K, 1827 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed for $849K, 5795 SanCap 3/3 listed for $1.079.9M, 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 listed for $1.595M.
2 closed sales: 1475 Court Pl 2/1 $265K, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 $750K.
 
LOTS
1 new listings: 1042 Blue Heron Dr $449K.
2 price changes: 1815 Ardsley Way now $209,555; 3334 Saint Kilda Rd now $315K.
1 new sale: 6081 Henderson Rd listed for $199.9K.
1 closed sale: 1340 Eagle Run Dr $250K.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
1 New listing: Beach Villas #2511 2/2 $619K.
No price changes
.
2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3110 1/1 listed for $225K, Tennis Villas #3139 2/2 listed for $380K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 $780K.

HOMES
1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $5.65M.
1 price change: 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1.398M.
1 new sale: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.849M.
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.

If you are on the islands this weekend, we hope you stop in to say “hi”, SanibelSusan Realty is open every day!

What’s Happening on Sanibel & at SanibelSusan Realty Associates


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All continues to be well on Sanibel and Captiva with fabulous weather, lots of fun-filled activities, heavy traffic, and good solid real estate action. Next week is spring break for the Lee County Schools so the islands may even be busier. Here are the upcoming permitted special events posted today on mySanibel.com.

  • Sat – 3/15 is the Sanibel Antiques Show at The Community House, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., also Sun 3/16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sun – 3/16 – Sanibel Farmers’ Market at City Hall Grounds, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sun – 3/16 – Norm Zeigler’s Fly Shop Shrimp Boil, (Norm is the tenant at the other end of our building in Sanibel Square), noon to 2 p.m.
  • Mon – 3/17 – IrishFest at Bailey’s Center 2 to 5 p.m. (BIG ARTS Chorus kicks things off at 2 p.m.)
  • Mon – 3/17 – St Patty’s Day Celebration at Doc Fords Rum Bar & Grille, 5 to 10 p.m.

Below is a cool vehicle that was parked behind our office yesterday!RedCar03-13-14

Island Real Estate Action

Dave held open houses two days this week, Elise has been juggling showing appointments with tenants and Realtors®, and I was out showing property again yesterday. We had a nice smooth condo closing on Wed and another will occur later today.

Probably the best news of the week is in the item that follows about the flood insurance vote yesterday in the Senate. After that are a couple of other real estate items, followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Senate Passes Flood Insurance With House Amendments

DC capitol bldgAs posted this morning on Realtor.org: Yesterday, “the United States Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370). The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.

“As passed, the bill repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House. NAR (National Association of Realtors®) had urged a swift vote in the Senate.”

SanibelSusan’s Scoop on Island Real Estate

Lighthouse1Now that the islands are a full two-plus months into “season”, it is interesting to hear today’s prospective buyers say that they are surprised that Sanibel and Captiva real estate has rebounded so quickly. Some think they may have missed out.

2013 was a good year of continued progress toward a more balanced market. The islands did not have the same big spike in property values seen in some parts of the country but solid recovery has been obvious since the end of 2012. Continuing through today, the numbers of sales are up, while inventory has declined considerably.

In considering consumer profiles, cash sales continue to be king, yet another indication that buyers see the investment value in island real estate.

Here is an updated summary of the Sanibel sales statistics compared to last year and the heydays of 2006. Notice how volume is up, prices are on the upswing. DOM (days-on-market) of the sold listings have improved too, mostly showing the new listings priced-right are what are selling.

Sanibel                   CONDOS                    HOMES                          LOTS

                                 #  / Avg $ / DOM         # / Avg $ / DOM              # / Avg $ / DOM

For Sale                   153 / $718,734 / 375   200 / $1,341,749 / 292   91 / $676,677 / 785

Closings pending:    40 / $708,712 282       36 / $1,055,178 / 266     6 / $706,667 / 578

Sold & closed in 

  2014 thru 3/14        18 / $658,881 / 228     43 / $797,709 / 266        4 / $386,139 / 420

  2013                       161 / $573,557 / 326   197 / $910,321 / 287       26/ $416,503 / 475

  2006                       143 / $866,972 / 147   156 / $1,143,682 / 186    18 / $523,917 / 158 

(Note:  “For Sale” & “Closings Pending” prices are asking prices.)

New Garden Trends in 2014

still_life_object_garden_236902The following article by Barbara Ballinger from the February on-line issue of “Realtor®Mag” has some good points whether you are a year-’round islander or a northern friend dreaming of the upcoming spring gardening seasons. From a real estate standpoint, “a backyard oasis for low-maintenance entertaining and calming tranquility is sure to catch buyers’ eyes.”

“While winter still casts its chill, blankets snow, and layers ice in many parts of the country, landscape experts are busy studying garden catalogs, nursery websites, and interior design trends that can work outdoors. Improving a home’s landscaping offers a win-win-win: greater enjoyment, increased home values, and enhanced curb appeal that may help attract buyers.

“To gain the biggest bang for their dollars, home owners should understand their site’s topography, orientation, climate, and economy, as well as their own budget. What’s popular in one city experiencing growth may not appeal where the economy is stagnant, says landscape architect Stephen Wlodarczyk of Botanical Decorators in Olney, Md.

“Here are popular trends reported from around the country and tips you can pass on to your clients:

Low maintenance. Busy home owners want to enjoy yards that don’t require a lot of time and effort to maintain. This trend is translating into more low-maintenance, carefree choices for outdoor spaces, such materials for decks, patios, and columns that don’t require repainting or replacing, furnishings that can be left outdoors throughout the year and won’t fade, and plant materials that don’t have to be constantly watered, fertilized, or pruned. This, in turn, is leading to greater use of perennials instead of annuals in gardens, since annuals require yearly replacement. To compensate for the color advantage of annuals, landscape specialists suggest that color come from accessories such as pillows, placemats, and dishes.

Wildflowers, too, are less labor-intensive than cottage and cutting garden choices, and also less pricey.

Simpler in design and care, yet still pleasing, are gardens that incorporate five to seven varieties of flowers rather than dozens, says Daniel Richards, general manager of design at Hicks Nurseries in Westbury, N.Y. “You can go with one big bank of roses in one color rather than 20 different kinds in multiple colors,” he says. Container gardens also pare down maintenance, and pots can winter indoors. But the downside is that they need to be watered more frequently since water in smaller containers will evaporate faster than it will in the ground. Although water features remain popular, these, too, are beginning to reflect the desire for less intense care. More home owners install pools with salt water to decrease the need for chlorination, and some go with natural pools where rocks and plantings cleanse water. Still others opt for small fountains for the soothing sight and sound of trickling water. And if they want a more lavish water wall or cascade, they ask for water to be recirculated for conservation, says Chris Cipriano, owner of Cipriano Landscape Design in Mahway, N.J. The size of pipes can also reduce evaporation, with oversized designs slowing the velocity and loss, he adds. When it comes to grass, “Grassology’s” grass-like product requires less water and feeding since its roots go deeper than ordinary grass to find water and nutrients instead of depending on traditional methods. The “grass” also doesn’t grow as high, so less mowing is needed.

Entertaining outdoors. Today’s home owners want an outdoor entertainment space, so more are adding patios, decks, or terraces large enough to accommodate comfortable seating; often the finished result resembles an indoor room. The furnishings selected for outdoor entertainment areas are also sturdier — sometimes indistinguishable in quality and look from what home owners use indoors — and upholstery is more fade-resistant. Bells and whistles make outdoor living even more pleasurable, whether it’s surround sound, weatherproof TVs, or well-equipped kitchens. While some home owners still find a good grill sufficient, especially if their indoor kitchen is close by, others are ramping up their cooking zones with appliances specifically designed for outdoor use — sinks, refrigerators, beer taps, pizza ovens, and rotisseries. Storage and countertops are also more frost-proof. To shade those who lounge or dine, pergolas continue to flourish, matched stylistically to a home’s design or favorite vacation paradise — perhaps Tuscany or the South Seas. To shade better, many are planted with flowering vines.

For those who aren’t as focused on saving dollars, water features are ever more lavish and resort-like. Vanishing-edge pools, where water seems to spill over indefinitely, are increasing popular, says Cipriano. “Home owners want to feel they’re going to their own five-star hotel,” he says.

Sustainably savvy. Native vegetation choices have caught on in landscaping because they don’t require frequent watering or as much feeding, fertilizing, and pruning, and these plants know how to survive in their region. They also offer the plus of attracting more native wild life, bees, butterflies, and bugs. Green gardening also means less lawn for many, and more hardscape that’s permeable such as gravel or brick, so water can seep through and be reused. But be sure home owners understand that all hardscape isn’t the goal either, since some greenness is key to a home looking residential and inviting, says Sacramento, Calif., landscape designer Michael Glassman, whose state has experienced a terrible drought. If home owners insist on lawn and plants, they should consider going with a choices that can be left more natural to resemble a meadow or prairie, or they might consider synthetic turf, which now looks much more realistic. Many home owners are also planting vegetable and herb beds to grow more of their own food, which inspired Elizabeth Robinson Edwards and her husband Williams recently to launch their Edwards Yards business to help home owners learn how to amend poor soil and grow food sustainably.

Drip irrigation systems help conserve water better than sprays, which often throw into the air haphazardly, says Jim Drzewiecki of Ginkgo Leaf Studio in Cedarburg, Wisc. For home owners eager to lower water use, they should consider installing rain barrels and other collection methods. More home owners also want to incorporate local, recycled, and renewable materials, such as stone quarried nearby and reclaimed lumber, says landscape designer Laurie Van Zandt, whose firm, The Ardent Gardener is based in Huntsville, Utah.

Extended use. Better lighting and warmth are key for extending backyard enjoyment into the night and for a greater part of the year (even in colder climates). For illumination, LEDs are replacing halogen bulbs because of their greater energy efficiency, particularly as their prices come down. These lights are being used not just for eating and sitting, but also to accent specimen trees, garden furnishings, and artwork. Richards says make sure the lighting effect is visible while concealing the source of the light. Adding a fire pit or fireplace also encourages home owners to use their outdoors as the weather becomes nippier. Fire pits are a more affordable option, but if home owners are planning to stay in their home for a long time, a permanent outdoor fireplace can bring many years of beauty and enjoyment. Before home owners install either, they should know their community’s regulations regarding having a fire outdoors and how far the structure must be from the house. A fire bowl offers a less intense flame, but still provides the effect, and several can be placed around the perimeter of a terrace or by a pool, says Glassman. For those homeowners who prefer going barefoot, he also suggests radiant heat installed under wood boards, in the same manner as indoors kitchens and bathrooms.

All the senses. Attracting bees, birds, and other animals can add pleasant outdoor sounds. And an array of smells from plants, flowers, and herbs also can enhance home owners’ pleasure, says Van Zandt, but try not to have too many that may overpower one another. Bolder colors outdoors rank high on wish lists, as they do inside, from periwinkle blue to zesty orange, but know that classic white and blue rarely loses its cachet. The Perennial Plant Association named Panicum virgatum, “Northwind,” the 2014 plant of the year with its vertical ornamental grass with blue green foliage forming a clump 4 to 5′ high and 2 to 3′ wide, Wlodarczyk says.

More personalized curb appeal. A front yard can become more appealing through a host of features beyond a lawn and decorative walk, says Van Zandt. Suggest to home owners they use textured plantings, different height materials, some variation in color throughout the year, a piece of garden art or interesting furniture such as an antique bench, maybe a small water feature, and even a painted wall that coordinates with their home’s façade and architectural elements.

“And whatever choices home owners consider, advise them to keep costs to no more than 5 to 10% of their home’s value, so they don’t over improve.

59 Metros Back to Normal

houses-clipartfree-christian-clip-art--image-of-a-house-a-home---cropped-image-xoshp3lsHere’s some positive info from Sunday’s “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Out of 350 metros evaluated across the country, 59 housing markets have returned to or have exceeded their last normal level of economic and housing activity, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index.

“Overall, markets nationwide are running at about 87% of their normal economic and housing activity. The index evaluates metro areas to see if they’re approaching or exceeding their previous normal levels of economic and housing activity. The index factors in average single-family permits, home prices, and employment levels for the past 12 months and then compares that to the market’s historical levels.

Topping the list of major metros on the Leading Markets Index is Baton Rouge, LA, which is performing 41% better than its last normal market level. Other top performing markets are Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, TX, and Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, PA. All of those markets are experiencing economic and housing activity that exceeds their previous norms.

“Looking at the smaller metros, Odessa, TX, and Midland, TX, have seen economic and housing activity double when compared to activity prior to the recession. Other smaller metros that are also performing strong: Casper, WY; Bismarck, ND; and Grand Forks, ND.

“”The strong energy sector is at the forefront of the recovery and centered in many small and mid-sized markets in Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Wyoming,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “In fact, these four states account for eight of the top 10 markets on the LMI and 45% of the markets that are at or above normal.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 7-14, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
5 new listings: Beach Road Villas #102 2/2 $349K, Sundial #F207 1/1 $349K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $525K, Lighthouse Point #130 2/2 $530K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 $839K.
4 price changes: Donax Village #9 1/1 now $249.9K, Sundial #D207 1/1 now $264.9K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $519K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.345M.
7 new sales: Sundial #H107 1/1 listed for $299K, Sundial #G305 1/1 listed for $339K, Mariner Pointe #1091 2/2 listed for $399K, Sundial #G401 2/2 listed for $459K, Sandpiper Beach #505 2/2 listed for $599K (short sale), Lighthouse Point #324 3/2 listed for $679.9K, Janthina #1A 3/2 listed for $1.1M.
3 closed sales: Sundial #C308 1/1 $285K, Seawind #A109 2/2.5 $375K, Mariner Pointe #812 2/2 $440K (our listing).
 
HOMES
5 new listings: 1048 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $795K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $895K, 6010 White Heron Ln 3/2.5 $959K, 927 Kings Crown Dr 3/3.5 $1.595M, 5075 Joewood Dr 3/4.5 $3.89M.
9 price changes: 1526 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $399.9K, 1481 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $529K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 now $545K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $549K, 1526 Bunting Ln 5/3 now $553K, 5690 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $799.9K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 now $998.5K, 1500 Angel Dr 3/2 now $1.195M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.395M.
1 new sale: 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 listed for $1.2M (short sale).
2 closed sales: 5284 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $470K, 2529 Harbour Ln 3/3 $675K.
 
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2324 Starfish Ln now $499K.
1 new sale: 761 Donax St listed for $219K.
2 closed sales: 3037 Poinciana Cir $195K, 4318 West Gulf Dr $635K.
 
Captiva

CONDOS
3 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2217 1/1 $510K, Beach Villas #2628 2/2 $629K, Beach Homes #1 3/2 $2.195M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
 
HOMES
3 new listings: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 $1.349M, 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 2.495M, 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4 $2.595M.
1 price change: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 now $959K.
No new or closed sales.
 
LOTS
Nothing to report

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

Hat_ShamrocksBest weekend wishes & here’s to good luck to everyone on Monday during the wearin’ of the green!

SanibelSusan

It’s Spring-Ahead Weekend on Sanibel Island


Clock aheadIt’s another perfect Friday on Sanibel Island. We are all ready to turn the clocks ahead on Sunday so we can enjoy more of this wonderful weather, later in the evenings.

Here are a few quick news items, followed by the week’s real estate action as reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Florida Realtors® Applaud House Passage of Flood Insurance Bill

FLRealtors_newlogoFlorida Realtors® posted the following notice on-line on Wednesday: 

“Realtors across Florida support the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370, overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House Tuesday, 306-91.

““This action in Congress will bring the much-needed certainty our real estate market has been missing since Biggert-Waters went into effect, and provide immediate relief to Florida homeowners who were facing financial ruin due to sudden and drastic flood insurance premium increases,” said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. Meadows added, “While good-intentioned, the Biggert-Waters Act had the effect of stigmatizing properties that are in flood zones. Current property owners, as well as those looking to buy, didn’t know if a new flood map might be adopted next week or next year. This legislation will give property owners in Florida and across the country peace of mind, by ensuring a slow and steady phase-in of risked-based increases.”

“Cyndee Haydon, associate broker with Future Home Realty in Clearwater, noted that the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Act was making Florida locations less attractive to families, retirees and others looking to move here because of the dramatic, soaring cost of flood insurance in many areas. “I’m excited that the legislation addresses the affordability of flood insurance and provides a ‘glide path’ for premium increases of about 15% a year (for those not paying the full rates yet),” Haydon said. “This takes out the fear and the unknown factor.”

“Brandi Gabbard, chair of the Pinellas Suncoast Association of Realtors and broker-associate with Smith & Associates in St. Petersburg, said that the House bill allows for homeowners of properties that currently have subsidized policies with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to be “grandfathered in” again. “That’s a huge win for homeowners,” Gabbard said. “We also hope to see more interest from private insurers to offer flood insurance policies. The Pinellas County area has seen good success with Lloyds of London and Homeowners’ Choice Property and Casualty Insurance Company. There are several bills legislators are introducing in Tallahassee to support the private market for flood insurance. Encouraging competition among private insurers will be the long-term, sustainable answer for this issue.”

“Under the U.S. House bill:

Immediate increases in flood insurance premiums up to 10 times the previous cost are eliminated.

Those who already paid such increases receive refunds.

Primary homeowners not already paying full rates could see their annual rate increases average 15% and be capped at 18%.

Second homes and businesses not already paying full rates could receive premium increases of about 25% per year.

Renewal increases are capped at 18% for homes in newly mapped flood zones.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a goal of having annual premiums not exceed 1% of total coverage provided by the policy.”

77th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival is NOW

Photo by Pam Rambo at www.ILoveShelling.com

Photo by Pam Rambo at http://www.ILoveShelling.com

Featuring shells, shell art, crafts and books, juried artistic and scientific exhibits, this annual event at The Sanibel Community House began on Thursday and runs through tomorrow (Saturday).

It unexpectedly got closed down early yesterday when Southwest Florida experienced a brief period of wind and heavy rain, but it is back in business again today.

New Sanibel Cell Tower is Up & Running

waving flagThe City’s new cell phone tower located on utility department lands just off Donax Street now is operational. Verizon built the tower on land leased from the City to boost cell service on the east-end. The tower doubles as a flag pole, with positive comments already received from those driving onto the island and viewing the huge new American flag waving. There are spaces on the tower for other carriers and rumor has it that AT&T is in negotiation for the 2nd tower slot.

News from The Sanctuary Golf Club

The Sanctuary Sign2July08Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership at The Sanctuary emailed her March newsletter this week. It announced that they have reached their maximum 100 Social Memberships. A Waiting List now has been implemented. Effective March 1, the Social Membership Fee is $15,000. The other membership categories include: Equity Membership $110,000; Introductory Membership $10,000; and Temporary Membership $5,000 for 1 month or $7,500 for 2 months.

Troubled by Tightened Lending Restrictions?

Money tightThat is certainly what I have heard more than once lately from well-qualified buyers, even those only looking to borrow a small percentage of the funds needed to purchase their new property. The following article by Michael Kodsi in the March issue of “FloridaRealtor®” magazine may explain why.

“Don’t be. Here are the facts about the new residential Qualified Mortgage rule and what you can expect.

“For the past few years, securing financing for your customers has been a challenge. Tighter loan restrictions and fewer lending programs have stymied many a real estate purchaser. So it’s understandable that real estate professionals are a little concerned about the new Qualified Mortgage rule that went into effect in January. How will homebuyers be impacted? Will this slow housing sales? Here are the facts to help you understand what a Qualified Mortgage is so you can prepare your customers for the changes. You’ll also know what to expect from lenders.

“Simply put, the new Qualified Mortgage rule – also know as the ability-to-repay rule – is designed to make sure that borrowers can repay their mortgage loans.

“As defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a Qualified Mortgage is a loan with a term no longer than 30 years, with the points and fees paid by the borrower not exceeding 3% of the total loan amount.  Lenders must also document the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and must confirm a debt-to-income ration of no more than 43%. Lenders may still make any loan they like. However, lenders who go outside the Qualified Mortgage rule lose protection against borrower lawsuits that claim the loan was unfair.

“Will Homebuyers Be Impacted?  The CFPB predicts that most homebuyers won’t be affected by the new rule because many lenders have already tightened their lending criteria. However, you should be prepared for a few changes relating to the mortgage process and be ready to advise your customers that lenders may increase the paperwork required for a home mortgage. Because lenders need to justify their underwriting decisions, many are requiring more documentation from borrowers.

“Some lenders may tighten their underwriting standards so that certain categories, including some lower- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, may find it more difficult to obtain mortgage financing. Self-employed homebuyers who don’t have a long history of consistent income may have a tougher time getting a mortgage. It’s certainly not impossible, but more paperwork will likely be required.
“Be aware that customers looking to buy more expensive homes will probably be affected because jumbo loans – those over $417,000 – may be more difficult to qualify for.

“The bottom line? Education and preparation will go a long way when working with homebuyers. By starting the mortgage process a little earlier – perhaps even before customers begin searching for a home – you can ease any anxiety they may feel over the new mortgage rules.”

7 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

bathroom-monitor“Home Trends” remodeling adviser Mellisa Tracey posted the following article recently in “REALTOR®” magazine:

“What’s trending in bathroom remodels? Houzz recently released its 2014 Winter Bathroom Trends Study showing the top bathroom remodel preferences of more than 7,500 homeowners in the U.S. and Canada. The report shows that 60% of homeowners are targeting the master bathroom for their bathroom remodels. The two main drivers for their remodels: To upgrade features and fixtures as well as to make space more functional.

“Here are some of the growing trends that emerged from the Houzz report:

“#1 Goodbye, bathtubs. The bathtub is starting to move out of the master bathroom. More than four in ten – 43% – are forgoing a bathtub in the master bathroom, according to the report.

“#2 Frameless glass is “in”. The majority of the homeowners surveyed say they prefer glass shower enclosures and frameless glass. Glass block is “out,” according to the report.

“#3 Let there be lots of light. Adding light was one of the top goals for homeowners with their bathroom remodels, from adding windows to skylights to LED lights in the showerhead.

“#4 Showing showerhead preferences. Rain and multiple showerheads are the clear choice for homeowners under 45, while the 55-plus age group tends to prefer hand showers and sliding bars.

“#5 Seeing white. White cabinets are the top choice in master bathrooms (with medium and dark wood coming in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). Maple is the most common type of wood used, followed by cherry and oak.

“#6 Silver bling. Silver-tone faucets remain the most popular, with brushed nickel topping the list. Polished chrome is also popular, while brushed bronze came in as the least popular choice for current bathroom remodels.

“#7 Unique powder rooms. The powder room is getting more unique features than other bathrooms. Hardwood floors, wallpaper, pedestal sinks, and furniture-like cabinets are more commonly used in these spaces than in other bathrooms.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 28 – Mar 7, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Sundial #I207 1/1 $324.9K, Island Beach Club #F240 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #505 2/2 $599K, Villa Sanibel#1G 2/2 $875K.
6 price changes: Sunset South #1B 2/2 now $534K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $885K, Pointe Santo #A2 now $898.5K, Pine Cove of Sanibel #302 2/2 now $1.15M, Seascape of Sanibel #104 3/3 now $2.37M.
5 new sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 listed for $299K, Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 listed for $589K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 listed for $590K, Sundial #O205 2/2 listed for $768K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 listed for $1.395M.
5 closed sales: Bind Pass #E102 2/2 $365K, Heron at the Sanctuary #2B 3/3 $610K, Island Beach Club #D220 2/2 $762K, Kings Crown #218 3/2 $1.070M, By the Sea #102 2/2 $1.285M.
HOMES
9 new listings: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $449K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 $669K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $699K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 $749K, 1021 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $775K, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 $839K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $1.049M, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.129M, 749 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $ 1.295M.
8 price changes: 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 now $449K, 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $495K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $649K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $877K, 228 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $880K, 512 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $925K, 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $1M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $ 1.675M.
7 new sales: 1890 Farm Tr 3/2 listed for $449K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $479K, 450 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed for $599K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed for $599K, 923 Pepper Tree Pl 3/2 listed for $729K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 listed for $825K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed for $1.1M.
6 closed sales: 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 435K, 579 Rabbit Rd 3/3 550K, 3205 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $570K, 9474 Balsa Ct 3/3 $860K, 1444 Causey Ct 4/4 $1M, 1664 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $1.075M.
LOTS
1 new listing: 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd $729K.
2 price changes: 4626 Buck Key Rd now $188K, 5749 Sanibel Captiva Rd now $399,555.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #708 2/2 listed for $595K.

No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.995M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 15127 Captiva Dr 8/8 listed for $1.595M. 

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. 

Looking for a Sanibel Condo? Here are a few photos of the views & amenities from some of SanibelSusan’s current listings…

Best wishes from Susan & The SanibelSusan Team for another great weekend!

Real Estate is Selling on Sanibel Island


It’s been another fun and busy week of real estate action for The SanibelSusan Team. The glorious weather must have something to do with it!

IMG_0737copye

Our listings again had good showing action. Several new buyers came in to chat about the purchasing process and to begin their property search. Dave accompanied five different inspections. Dave, Lisa, and I were out several days with different prospective buyers showing property, while Elise has been juggling showing appointments and follow-up on the feedback. But, even more importantly, more offers were negotiated. Another productive week here – what we wait for all year!

The 7-day activity report from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service below illustrates. I don’t remember when the island has had 12 condo sales in a single week (two our listings). We definitely want that business to continue. March usually is a good time for condo sales too. New month-long renters arrive tomorrow in addition to the typical weekly Saturday turn-over guests.

Here are a couple of quick news items, including an update on flood insurance (the subject on the minds of many), followed by that report.

House to Vote on Flood Insurance

realtor logoThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) posted on-line the below notice for its members this week.

“The House is scheduled to vote up-or-down on an amended version of H.R. 3370, the Flood Insurance Affordability Act, during the first week of March. The original bill text has been stripped and replaced by substitute language that considerably strengthens the bill. The substitute bill will be considered under an expedited set of “suspended rules” procedures that limits debate and amendments, and requires a 2/3 majority to pass. This is a critical vote on a top NAR member priority. We cannot predict the fall-out if this vote fails.

“The substitute bill to be considered differs significantly from the version that the Senate passed on Jan. 30:

  1. REPEALS (the Senate bill only delayed) the property-sales provision in the Biggert Waters law (sec. 205) that has triggered the most excessive and inaccurate premium increases over the past year.
  2. REFUNDS (the Senate bill would not refund) excessive premiums to those who have already seen an increase but were not warned by FEMA prior to purchasing the property.  (This would apply to ALL purchases of property including purchases of a second home or commercial property).
  3. RESTORES (the Senate bill only delayed) the grandfathering of lower rates when new flood maps are issued by repealing Section 207 of the law before any increases can be implemented.”

Annual Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleThe Sanibel-Captiva Art League’s annual sale is tomorrow (Saturday, March 1) across the street from SanibelSusan Realty and Sanibel Square at The Community House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More info at www.sancapart.com

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 21-28, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
5 new listings: Tennisplace #E31 2/1 $325K, Blind Pass #G205 2/2 $439K, Sundial #G101 2/2 $445K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $515K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $869K.
6 price changes: Sundial #H107 1/1 now $299K, Tennisplace #B24 2/1 now $315K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 now $349K, Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 now $465K, Loggerhead Cay #411 now $529K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.395M.
12 new sales: Beach Road Villas #104 2/2 listed for $335K (our listing), Beach Road Villas #103 2/2 listed for $359.9K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 listed for $612K, Sundial #Q302 2/2 listed for $649K, Kings Crown #210 2/2 listed for $649K, Sundial #L202 2/2 listed for $695K, Surfside 12 #C3 3/2 listed for $749K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 listed for $839K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed for $895K, Gulfside Place #307 2/2 listed for $1.225M, Gulfside Place #319 3/2 listed for $1.295M (our listing), Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 listed for $2.22M.
No closed sales.

HOMES
8 new listings: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $637,555; 1827 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $849K; 2538 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $850K; 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $879K; 791 Pen Shell Dr 4/3 $1.195M; 5612 Baltusrol Ct 4/3.5 $1.695M; 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.95M, 1470 Middle Gulf 4/5.5 $2.495M.
10 price changes: 490 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 now $399K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $580,555; 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex now $698.5K; 1340 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.148.5M; 1203 Isabel Dr 2/3 now $1.195M; 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 now $1.595M; 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.8M; 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 half-duplex now $1.895M; 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.999M; 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3 now $2.1M.
2 new sales: 617 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 5049 Joewood Dr 6/7.5 listed for $3.995M.
7 closed sales: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $390K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 $461K, 4546 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $485K, 1342 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $550K, 1297 Par View Dr 3/2 $750K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.01M, 988 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $1.035M.
 
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 247 + 255 Robinwood Cir now $298K.
No new or closed sales.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $225K, Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/2 $829K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 $1.275M.
1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $739K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5132 1/2 $243.5K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #2B 2/2 $800K.

HOMES
4 new listings: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.995M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7.995M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $17M.
1 price change: 4 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 now $2.375M.
1 new sale: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed for $1.65M.
1 closed sale: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/4.5 $2.35M.
 
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 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.

IMG_0803copyeHere’s to another fun-filled weekend with roseate spoonbills & more real estate sales!

SanibelSusan

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

• 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

Sanibel
CONDOS
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.

HOMES
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.

LOTS
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.

Captiva
CONDOS
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.

HOMES
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.

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 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