Mid-Summer Scoop from Sanibel Island

It has been another quiet, summer shower kind of week on the islands, with no real estate meeting yesterday and very few showings or even phone calls. All-in-all, that is pretty typical for late July. At SanibelSusan Realty we spent much of the week beating the bushes for new listings and working on selling long-distance and sight-unseen. It always pays to have good marketing material when you do that. Here are a few photos taken this week at our new listing at Spanish Cay. It’s great value at $349K and already getting interest. Smart buyers know that summer is a great time to buy – when it is easy to preview property and sellers may be more motivated.

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

Sea Turtles Nesting in Record Numbers

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogFrom the “Island Sun” today: “Local businesses and residents of Sanibel and Captiva universally agree that the 2013-14 “in season” for tourism was the highest in recent memory. However, another group of visitors to the islands this summer has shattered the record books.

“On July 7 when the 70th nest was recorded, it established a new mark for nesting activity on Sanibel’s east end…Last Friday morning, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) updated its sea turtle nesting statistics. Reported were 73 loggerhead nests and one green sea turtle nest on Sanibel’s east end, 237 nests on Sanibel’s west end, and 101 nests on Captiva. By way of comparison, by the same date last year, SCCF had reported 44 nests on Sanibel’s east end, 208 loggerhead and seven green turtle nests on Sanibel’s west end, and 99 loggerhead and one green turtle nest on Captiva.”

An interesting fact is that once a tiny hatchling reaches the water, “they’ll swim for 48 hours straight to get away from the shoreline and birds and other predators…that’s their instinct.”

“Each day during nesting season, which runs from May to October, more than 100 volunteers, permittees and SCCF employees monitor approximately 18 miles of island beachfront which stretches from the Sanibel Lighthouse to the tip of Captiva….”

BIG ARTS Then/Now & Their Fall Schedule

BIG Arts logoKnown as Sanibel and Captiva’s home for all the arts, BIG ARTS has been providing cultural enrichment and fulfillment to island residents and visitors since 1979. BIG ARTS began when a group of artists dreamed of a cultural center on the island. Today, BIG ARTS members and participants enjoy a wide spectrum of performing and visual arts events, and the community participates in more than 200 educational classes and workshops each year.

The creative spirit, driving force, and hard work of volunteers have shaped BIG ARTS into the vibrant organization it is today. More than 250 talented volunteers assist the staff each season to ensure the professional management of BIG ARTS. Now a prominent cultural institution in Southwest Florida’s region, BIG ARTS has fulfilled its original mission to provide cultural, social, and volunteer opportunities to island residents. As new residents move to the area, they see how BIG ARTS enriches island life, and many are eager to participate and support the arts as they did in their former communities.

BIG ARTS banner-homepage-35-anniversaryBIG ARTS activities were held in private homes around the island until 1987, when a small cottage was donated and moved to its present location on Dunlop Road. Founders Gallery opened in this cottage and concerts were held in the garden under a tent. Due to the popularity of the programs, the organization quickly outgrew these facilities. Through the generosity of BIG ARTS supporters, Phillips Gallery opened in 1990 as an art gallery, concert hall, and classroom.

BIG artsThe West Wing, Schein Performance Hall and sculpture garden were added in 1997. Designed by BIG ARTS member Irwin Stein, Schein Hall is a 400-seat concert hall with surround sound in high definition and a recently added high definition projection system. Classrooms provide space for pottery, clay, metal works, and many other offerings. The beautiful sculpture garden, renamed Boler Garden, was restored in 2006, including an ongoing project with installation of an etched stone walkway.

BIG ARTS Administrative Offices and Classrooms are at 2244 Periwinkle Way, right behind SanibelSusan Realty Associates. Additional classrooms and meeting space there allows BIG ARTS to further its mission to support the arts.

Theater-in-SanibelIn 2010 the Boards of the Herb Strauss Theater and BIG ARTS joined together to combine the support functions and volunteers of the two organizations, making both stronger and more efficient. The Herb Strauss Theater is now part of the BIG ARTS family of programs and productions. The goal is to further the tradition of quality cultural and educational experiences to the residents and visitors of Sanibel, Captiva, and neighboring communities.

BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater presents professional live theater, and offers Broadway-caliber talent in an intimate atmosphere. The 160-seat Theater is at 2200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009Going into the fall 2014, as in past years, as soon as the BIG ARTS Summer Arts Camp ends, the new schedule begins. Workshops will continue classes in painting and drawing; open studio sessions; fine crafts, such as stained glass, glass fusing, and weaving; pottery; dance/fitness; discussion groups; music appreciation and instructional; technology lessons; language and writing classes. Also part of the family of workshops is BIG ARTS Community Chorus and BIG ARTS community Concert band.

As one of the original members of the BIG ARTS Chorus, SanibelSusan was working behind the scenes this week with Director Steve Cramer in organizing the music that chorus will sing for the fall Bailey Fest, Thanksgiving Celebration, and December Holiday Concert. It’s going to be another great season!

Sanibel Rec Center – Brief Closing for Maintenance

Sanibel Rec CenterThe Sanibel Recreation Center will close July 26 through August 3 for maintenance projects. Improvements will include resurfacing of the gym floor and front entrance, deep cleaning and painting of the facility, restriping of the parking lot, and resealing of rest room tile. Day-camp programs will operate as scheduled.

The Sanibel Recreation Center is at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Rd. Daily, weekly, semi-annual, and annual memberships are available. More info on www.MySanibel.com.

Survey: Buyers, Sellers ‘Not on the Same Page’

REDFIN logoThis article in “Daily Real Estate News” on July 10, 2014 describes a small survey, but to me the points are “spot on”.

“Home buyers and sellers are “not on the same page” when it comes to the state of the housing market, according to a new Redfin survey of 707 of its agents and partner agents across 35 U.S. markets. Buyers and sellers are taking a more aggressive stance in the market, with some sellers overpricing their homes and more buyers refusing to get in bidding wars, the survey found.

““In May, 40% of sellers surveyed by Redfin said that they planned to list their homes above market value, even though home sales had dropped by 9% since the year before,” says Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. “Typically, it takes sellers six to nine months to adjust to a price change, but this latest shift is longer. Prices have moved down and then up so much over the past five years that it’s even more difficult for sellers to have a realistic baseline for what their homes are worth in the current market.”

“Fifty-eight percent of Redfin agents say that sellers are holding unrealistic expectations about the value of their homes, up from 49% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, buyers are showing less willingness to chase after a home, as they face affordability and financing hurdles, the survey found.

““Buyers who have been searching for a long time may still try to win deals with aggressive offers,” Richardson says. “However, new buyers in the market are much less willing to chase an escalating sale price to compete with multiple bids. The demand side of real estate is moving from ‘please take my offer’ to ‘take it or leave it as you please.’ Home buyers’ willingness to walk away from a deal that’s a bad fit is good for them and is ultimately healthier for the housing market.”

“So is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? It depends on who you ask. Twenty-four percent of Redfin agents surveyed say that “sellers have all the power,” a drop from 35% three months ago.

“Rising inventories have been beneficial for buyers who are less willing to participate in a bidding war, but they are facing other challenges, such as access to credit and affordability, the survey finds. The top challenges Redfin agents identified as growing problems for buyers are: lack of affordability; qualifying for a mortgage; saving enough for a down payment; and worries about the economy.”

Despite Predictions, Baby Boomers Aren’t Downsizing Yet

realtor logoBelow is another “spot on” report from “Daily Real Estate News”, July 15. Some points here can be further illustrated by the “housing” market on Sanibel and Captiva where today there are not enough homes for sale to meet the demand of the baby boomers, particularly those wanting enough space for entertaining, home offices, and visiting family members.

“Baby boomers aren’t showing any signs of leaving the single-family home market that has defined their generation’s real estate habits, despite many predictions that they would by now. As boomers hit age 65 and become empty nesters, many housing analysts forecasted that a huge wave of them would downsize and move into an apartment, condo, or townhouse.

But Fannie Mae researcher Patrick Simmons says that isn’t happening yet. “There’s a perception, particularly in many media reports, that this massive generation born between 1946 and 1964 is altering its housing consumption,” Simmons, the director of strategic planning for Fannie Mae’s economic group, told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s true that they’re becoming empty nesters in droves. But by one measure, the proportion of boomers who live in single-family homes actually increased between 2006 and 2012.”

“Baby boomers’ mobility has gone down. Nine out of 10 boomers surveyed by AARP reported that they wanted to stay in their current home as long as possible. Some may be motivated to stay put because of the housing crisis. For boomers, the value of single-family homes they owned fell by an average of 13%. Some boomers could still be underwater and are waiting to recoup more on their house before they sell. Others may be holding on to their home because they snagged a record low mortgage rate in recent years, and they know borrowing won’t be any cheaper if they do decide to sell.

“Some baby boomers are downsizing but choosing to stay in smaller single-family homes rather than move to a condo or townhome. But “eventually, boomers will slow down with age and have the same physical frailties that their predecessors had,” Simmons told the Tribune. “My sense is that it’s not going to be a major shift — something we see in the numbers in a year. It will likely unfold over a decade or more.””

More Chinese Buyers Coming to America

Florida Realtors logoHere’s another interesting article from “Daily Real Estate News”, July 11. We keep hearing that the islands will soon have more Asian buyers, but it hasn’t happen yet.

“The number of Chinese home buyers and investors flocking to the U.S. is on the rise, driven by China’s currency appreciation, rising affluence, and concerns over its own economic slowdown, according to the 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, released this week by the National Association of REALTORS®.

““It’s just the beginning of a tidal wave,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Chinese investors accounted for 16% of the $92.2 billion worth of international U.S. homes purchases in the year through March, up from 12% a year earlier, according to NAR.

“China was the leader in dollar volume of international purchases, purchasing an estimated $22 billion with an average sales cost of $590,826, according to the NAR report. China also was the fastest-growing source of U.S. foreign transactions, now accounting for 16% of all purchases, up 4% from last year.

“Canada maintained the largest share of purchases, but its share is falling – 23% in 2013 to 19% in 2014.

“The share of Chinese buyers in the U.S. market will likely only get bigger, says Paul Diggle, Property economist at Capital Economics. “This bigger picture hides a rapid rise in purchases by Chinese investors, who may overtake Canadians as the largest group of foreign buyers of U.S. housing within the next five years,” Diggle told HousingWire. “The strength of Chinese demand is another reason to watch closely developments in the Californian housing market, where housing is now no better than fairly valued at the statewide level and starting to look frothy in a number of metros.””

Source: “China Set to Dominate Foreign Homebuyers Market,” HousingWire (July 10, 2014) and “Bloomberg Briefings,” San Francisco Chronicle (July 9, 2014)

Energy-Saving Tips from LCEC

Lcec logoSome timely concise suggestions were included in our recent electric bill from Lee County Electric Co-op (LCEC):

“Warmer weather has arrived and you may be looking for ways to save energy and lower your bill. Our energy experts are here to help you save energy by following these simple tips:

  • When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees F. Each degree below adds 8 to 12% to cooling costs.
  • Do not close A/C vents or interior doors when A/C is running.
  • While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees F.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
  • Turn fans off when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.

For more green energy tips visit www.lcec.net.”

Prescribed Burns are Done

SCCF photo

If you are concerned about the large burned areas noticeable on Tarpon Bay and San-Cap Roads, know that they are for the good.

Last Sunday morning, fire officials and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge staff conducted a prescribed burn at the Bailey Tract and surrounding SCCF property. Planned burns scheduled for the following days along San-Cap Road and Legion Curve were delayed due to heavy wind and rain, but the fire team completed their planned burn along Legion Curve on Wednesday. (photo here by SCCF)

Summer is not only rainy season in Florida, but also peak lightening season, which can cause fires with devastating impacts. Managed burns can prevent the likelihood and severity of wildfires and help preserve the natural ecology of the area.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 11-18


3 new listings: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 $310K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 3/2 $449K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Breakers West #B1 2/2 listed for $449K.

1 closed sale: Sundial #O307 2/2 $920K.


2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $395K, 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 $829K.

2 price changes: 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $495K, 580 Birdsong Pl 3/2.5 now $574.9K.

1 new sale: 1434 Sandcastle Rd 3/2 listed for $575K.
2 closed sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $580K, 1529 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $787.5K.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 6519 Pine Ave now $1.095M, 6505 Pine Ave now $1.095M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 659 Anchor Dr $520K, 4308 West Gulf Dr $600K.


Nothing to report


1 new listing: 11529 Laika Ln 3/2 $1.65M.

1 price change: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.645M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

It’s a great time to enjoy the beach, the shelling, & fabulous sunsets on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Best wishes to all…SanibelSusan


Summertime Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

I was merrily working on today’s blog when Comcast service went out on most of the island. With no office internet (except by cell phones/iPads) until this afternoon, I now realize how much we take technology for granted.

Years ago when offers were transmitted by snail mail or FedEx, we were thrilled when faxes became acceptable. That was back when those were printed on thermal paper (that shows my age). I remember needing signatures on an offer and running one of those faxes to some folks lounging around the pool at Sundial Resort. The words started disappearing in the bright sunlight. That made for an interesting obstacle to overcome!

What a difference a few years make! Even without internet service today, I was able to type an offer up on my iPad and with electronic signatures AOK, what now can be accomplished in minutes used to take days!

Here are just a couple of news items, followed by a report of the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. It was a pretty quiet week, aside from the disruptions from the weather. The late day showers make for some fabulous sunsets though!


New Business Neighbors at Sanibel Square

Here’s a little scoop from the shopping center here at Sanibel Square:

Sanibel PlumbingNave Plumbing, serving the island for more than 65 years changed hands recently. Located in the building behind us on Periwinkle Way, it has been renamed Sanibel Plumbing. The first of their trucks with a new wrap was in the 4th of July parade last week.

Next door to Sanibel Plumbing, Jeff Molnar also recently advised that his company, Molnar Electric, has changed hands. This company name will remain as Jeff will continue with them during the transition.

Congratulations to both families for some well-deserved retirement fun and best wishes for continued success to our new neighbors at “the Square”.

New Signs on Sanibel This Week

stop algaeComing onto the island from the causeway and coming from Captiva onto Sanibel, two new signs went up this week advising “Stop Algae! No fertilizer July to Sept”. What great tools these signs are to educate the public and get all of us thinking about the devastating effects that excess fertilizer can have on local water quality.AlgaeSign

The SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Marine Lab is working with the City of Sanibel to develop a nutrient management plan: http://marinelab.sccf.org/research/sanibel-nutrient/
To learn about local fertilizer ordinances visit: http://fertilizesmart.com/

Survey: Lenders Fear Another Housing Bubble Is Brewing

realtor logoHere is an interesting posting from Realtor®Mag’s on-line “Daily Real Estate News”, on Wednesday:

“Mortgage bankers are fearful that another real estate bubble is on the horizon, according to a quarterly survey of 203 bank risk managers from the United States and Canada conducted by FICO. Fifty-six percent of respondents said that an “unsustainable real estate bubble is inflating.”

“”The home loan environment has bifurcated,” says Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs. “Six million home owners in the U.S. are still underwater on their mortgages, with the average negative equity a whopping 33%. Yet with home prices soaring in many cities, total home owner equity in the U.S. is at its highest level since late 2007. That doesn’t feel like a healthy, sustainable growth situation. No wonder many lenders in both Canada and the U.S. are concerned about the risk in residential mortgages.”

“But real estate experts mostly have downplayed housing bubble fears in recent months. In fact, a new report finds that home prices are still undervalued by 3% nationally. Trulia’s most recent Bubble Watch report found that at the current pace, home prices are expected to fall in line with long-term fundamentals – neither over- or undervalued – by the last quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015. “Much of the recent house-price appreciation is a result of market correction for the significant undervaluation caused by the price declines,” Mark Fleming, chief economist at housing data provider CoreLogic noted in recent months. “There is no need to fear a bubble for at least a few years to come, if at all.”

“FICO’s survey also asked bankers about the most common concerns they have in the underwriting process on consumer loans. The most common concerns cited by bankers: “high debt-to-income ratio” in approving loans (59%); “multiple recent applications for credit” (13%); and “low FICO score” (10%). “As consumer confidence picks up and people increase their borrowing, lenders are understandably concerned about growing indebtedness,” says Mike Gordon, FICO’s executive vice president of sales, services and marketing. “For the last two quarters, around 65% of our respondents said they think credit card balances are headed higher. Those are the two highest figures we’ve ever seen in this survey. When I talk with bankers, they tell me they’re happy to see growing consumer optimism, but they’re wary of a return to reckless borrowing.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 4-11



3 new listings: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $299K, Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $349K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #219 2/2 $488.8K.

2 price changes: Sundial #D307 1/1 now $259K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $469K.

2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #C1 2/2 listed for $499K, Gulfside Place #322 2/2 listed for $1.15M.

1 closed sale: Sundial #D304 1/1 $310K.


1 new listing: 547 Chert Ct 3/2 $739K.

1 price change: 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 now $799K.

6 new sales: 5141 San-Cap Rd 2/2 listed for $299K, 490 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 listed for $379K, 5841 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed for $474.9K, 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $495K (short sale), 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 listed for $799,407; 3537 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed for $3.9M.

1 closed sale: 949 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $740K.


1 new listing: 1820 Farm Trl $279K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


No new activity for condos, homes, or lots.

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.

Best weekend wishes to all. Here we hope the weather stays like this photo (taken during a home inspection on Captiva early-afternoon Tuesday).  SanibelSusan


It’s a Bright Sunny Independence Day on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s Susan manning the fort at SanibelSusan Realty for the July 4th holiday. The island is busy with vacationers, mostly families, and many for just the long weekend. The parade this morning was a big success. Elise and her family were here to enjoy it with me from our great vantage point. I posted lots of photos on Facebook for those interested, just a few here.

The road rally at The Timbers is just finishing up now, and the evening celebration is gearing up at The Dunes, followed by the fireworks over the bay. I hope your Independence Day has been a fun-filled one too!

Below are a couple of news items before the action was posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days. It was pretty quiet, but, be sure and check out the new Captiva sale by SanibelSusan. I started working on this one several months ago so it is really not indicative of the action we typically see this time of the year. Just the same, I am very happy that it finally made it to contract. If you follow the named homes on Captiva, this is the one known as Banyan Beach and it’s a beauty!

Lee County Final Property Rates Up From Early Estimates

LeePALogoThe below article posted at news-press.com on June 16, 2014 includes information provided by Lee County’s Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson.

“Lee County’s final property values are in — and they’re up. Across the county, values of the 600,000-plus properties went up 7.1% over last year’s numbers. That’s about 1.6% points higher than property appraiser Ken Wilkinson’s initial estimates sent to the state June 1.


“All of the county’s cities and all but one fire district saw had small boosts from June estimates as well.

“It’s been an appreciating market … it makes sense values would continue to go up when we finished our last month of work,” Wilkinson said. In addition, the “actual real estate market that’s happening between buyers and sellers appreciated over 10% overall,” he said — the first time since 2007 that’s been the case.”

“Collier County is slated to release its final numbers to its taxing authorities today.

“The increase is good news for Lee County’s budget, and possibly for its taxpayers, Board of Lee County Commissioners Chairman Larry Kiker said.  “It puts us in a better financial position as we go into this budget cycle. It will mean, obviously, we’ll have more money to work with,” he said. The county could use that money for capital improvement projects it has put off for years — or, “best case,” a reduction in taxes, Kiker said. “My prediction is it’s going to be a lower rate this year than last year,” he said.

“County staffers created two budget scenarios for commissioners at their last budget workshop: One with an increase of 5.48% based off Wilkinson’s earlier numbers, and one at 6.48 reflecting what final number they hoped to see. Since it’s even higher, the county will “adjust accordingly” before bringing its third draft of the budget to commissioners, Pete Winton, assistant county manager, said in an emailed statement provided by county spokeswoman Betsy Clayton.

“Cities up, too. Cities and taxing districts in the county also saw boosts.

“Fort Myers and Bonita Springs each had a nearly 2% increase over earlier estimates, increasing from 7.3 to 9.2% and 6.4 to 8.3%, respectively.

“Cape Coral had a boost of 1.5% between estimates and Thursday’s final numbers. Last year, it had the largest increase in the county.

“Sanibel’s property values went up 1.5% points from estimates, to 4.8%, and Fort Myers Beach had an increase to 6.6%, from 5.5% estimated in June.

“Sixteen of 17 fire districts saw had boosts too. The exception is Fort Myers Shores, which had a decrease of its estimate from 6.95 to 5.22%.

“Wilkinson must send these numbers to the state by Tuesday July 1. The next step is for the board to set the tax rate for fiscal year 2014-2015, which will allow TRIM (Truth In Millage) notices to be sent to property owners by mid-August. The commissioners are scheduled to meet Aug. 4 to set the rate.”

More Details on Sanibel & Captiva Sales

SanCapAssnLogoWith half the year over, it is a good time to see again how the real estate market is progressing. The condo segment still is playing catch-up, particularly with the seasonal-rental type units. Good income should make those properties more attractive to prospective buyers in the months to come as the economy rebounds. In the meantime, the baby boomers and retirees continue to drive the market. They are looking for space and more inventory is needed to meet that demand. Here is a snapshot of the islands sales/inventory today (July 4, 2014):

CONDOS                    HOMES                                LOTS

SANIBEL               No.    Average Price   No.    Average Price   No.    Average Price

For sale                 132   $714,951           165   $1,305,212        83     $517,812

Closing pending      12     654,567             32        856,820          3       465,852

Sold & closed

2014 thru 7/4        103    685.677            127       840,984         17       441,356

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

CONDOS                    HOMES                                LOTS

CAPTIVA               No.    Average Price   No.    Average Price   No.    Average Price

For sale                 44   $858,589              32   $3,831,078          3     $2,579,667

Closing pending      1     525,000                6     3,524,833          0      N/A

Sold & closed

2014 thru 7/4        12    617,042              17     2,834,794          0       N/A

2013                     36    659,185              18     2,522,056          2           675,000

Florida, A Worthy Investment: Vote “Yes” on Amendment 1

SCCF logoThe following is an excerpt from the July-August 2014 “SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Member Update”, by Rae Ann Wessel, National Resource Policy Director:

“Did you know Florida is the only state in the union to have been recognized and awarded the prestigious National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the management of our state parks three times? In fact no other state has ever won twice, let alone thrice.

“I’m just back from a jaunt around Florida visiting Florida parks from White Springs near the north Florida border to our own backyard. It’s a trip that I highly recommend and one that never fails to inspire me with the unique diversity and beauty of this state’s natural wonders!

“The protection and public use of these wonders is made possible by a nationally recognized public land conservation effort many decades long that has invested in the protection, conservation and interpretation of some of the best and most unique features of wild Florida. Today the program goes by the name Florida Forever but has been known over the years as Preservation 2000 (P2000) and CARL – Conservation and Recreational Lands.

“Despite its amazing success, the program has been in jeopardy since 2009 when state legislators began redirecting funds historically used to fund purchases, restoration and preservation efforts. This November we have a chance to recover the program by supporting Amendment 1 on the November ballot.  The amendment does not create a new tax but would dedicate and protect funding of our public lands using 33% of existing document stamp taxes, the taxes paid in real estate transactions. This is the funding that has been used for 20 years.

“The program to educate the electorate for this Fall’s vote needs your support and sponsorship. Visit our website (www.sccf.org) for more information or the Florida Water and Land Legacy website (www.voteyeson1fl.org) to donate toward the effort to pass this important amendment this November.”

Planning Ahead to “Ding” Darling Days

Ding Darling Society logoFrom the “News from Friends of J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge”: “There must be 25 ways to celebrate “Ding” Darling Days, happening at the Refuge October 19-25 this year. 2014 celebrates 25 years for the annual eco-festival, which started in 1989 as a one-day Family Fun Day and has grown week-long with free and discounted tours, free nature presentations, and yes, still that so-popular Family Fun Day kick-off. We don’t have room to tell you all of the 25 ways to celebrate, so we will start with just 10. Look for more in the next newsletter, “Ding” on the Wing bulletins, and at www.dingdarlingdays.com/ddd-events:

  1. 25 “Ding” Things Passport: A week-long scavenger hunt with 25 fun prizes.
  2. The debut of the Discover “Ding” GPS-based game app – the first of its kind in the Refuge System with 25-minute clinics during “Ding” Days.
  3. Free Silver Anniversary reusable bags filled with books and other goodies for the first 250 arrivals to Sunday Family Fun Day, October 19.
  4. Free 25-minute archery demonstrations and clinics for Family Fun Day.
  5. Special 25th anniversary presentations by Heather Hensen’s Ibex Puppetry troupe.
  6. 25% off all Tarpon Bay Explorers tours – including tram, paddling, and nature cruise excursions.
  7. 25 stunning images of mating great blue herons at a special photographic presentation by Sallie Rich on Tuesday.
  8. Free 25-minute stand-up paddleboard clinics on Tuesday and Thursday.
  9. Fee wilderness paddles into the Refuge’s Lady Finger Lakes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
  10. 25-cent Sill Photo Booth pictures on Saturday’s Conservation Art Day.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 27-July 4


1 new listing: Clam Shell #C 2/2 $1.265M.

1 price change: Sundial #I104 1/1 now $369K.

1 new sale:  Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 listed for $539K.

2 closed sales: Breakers West #B4 2/2 $430K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $656.5K.


4 new listings: 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 $548K, 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $569K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 547 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/2.5 $965K.

2 price changes: 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $750K, 1048 Kings Crown Dr 4/4 now $1,224,995.

7 new sales: 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed for $459.5K, 621 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 listed for $509K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed for $715K, 4444 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 listed for $949K, 1066 Bailey Rd 3/3 listed for $970K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 listed for $1.095M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed for $1.695M.

5 closed sales: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 $415K, 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $435K, 2551 Sanibel Blvd 3/2 $465K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.092M, 5612 Baltusrol Ct 4/3/5 $1.675M.


2 new listings: 1299 Par View Dr $235K, 2462 Wulfert Rd $259K.

1 price change: 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr now $1.195M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4309 Gulf Pines Dr $270K.


No new listing, price changes, news sales, or closed sales:


1 new listing: 11535 Wightman Ln 3/3 $1.325M.

2 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.695M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $4.25M

1 new sale: 16682 Captiva Dr 10/12.5 listed for $11.9M (my buyer).

No closed sales,


Nothing to report.

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

2013 StarsHappy Birthday, America!

Here’s wishing everyone a safe & fun Independence Day!

Wrapping Up the June 2014 Real Estate Action on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Florida Realtors® “Believe”

Elise & SusanIt is SanibelSusan reporting that Elise and I enjoyed being part of the FloridaRealtors® “Believe” event last Friday afternoon. This event which encouraged Realtor® work toward helping the homeless was part of a state-wide tour where the FloridaRealtors® leadership team visited every Florida district.

Elise and I were part of the Sanibel & Captiva group who, along with other local association members, packaged meals. It was an inspiring cooperation, where 100+ local association members and the leadership team were arranged in assembly-line fashion under the direction of Meals of Hope.

meals_of_hope(1)In just one hour, we assembled 21,760 meals (each will feed a family of five) which will be distributed to families of homeless children in Lee and Collier counties. Astoundingly, our state leaders told us that there are more than 63,000 children here that qualify for free breakfast and lunch during the school year. Often, those were their only meals of the day. Since these children don’t get the meals now that schools are out for the summer, Meals of Hope will distribute the packaged meals to the same families.

Island Weather & More


It has been another week of wonderful summer weather on Sanibel with a few afternoon showers that resulted in fabulous sunsets.

Sunset South Bldg 8 at 8:30 a.m. 06-27-14

Sunset South Bldg 8 at 8:30 a.m. 06-27-14

Unfortunately the later thunder-buster last night, just after sunset, resulted in a lightning strike in Bldg 8 at Sunset South condominiums. That is one of the riverside buildings. Sanibel’s finest extinguished the fire quickly but several units were damaged. Thankfully, there were no occupants at the time.

We saw the early arrival of some July 4th holiday vacationers this week. Tomorrow many check-ins are expected with the Sanibel and South Seas expected to be near-capacity next week.

The activity from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week follows a few more news items below.

Association of Realtors® June Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® June breakfast membership meeting was yesterday.

Sanibelcityseal logoDuring the educational segment of the agenda, Jim Jordan, Sanibel’s Director of Planning, updated members on recent happenings at City Hall. He also reminded attendees about Sanibel permit requirements. Here is some of that info:

  • Development Permits are required whenever the appearance or use of a structure is changed, a structure will be demolished or impermeable coverage or developed area is going to be added.
  • Building Permits are required when a structure is constructed, enlarged, altered, remodeled or repaired if the labor and materials exceeds $750 in market value. A building permit also is required when a building is moved, demolished, or when replacing windows or doors. Non-permanent improvements like painting, carpeting, and appliances are not included in the calculation.
  • Sometimes a development permit is required but no building permit is needed, like when building a fence not related to a swimming pool.
  • In other situations, a building permit may be required, but no development permit is necessary, i.e. for work such as interior repairs or remodeling, exterior siding replacement, or adding a concrete slab under an existing structure. See more details, forms, and a list of approved contractors on www.MySanibel.com.

During “questions & answers”, Realtors® quizzed Jim about some issues recently affecting island sales and closings, i.e. improvements to non-conforming structures and the 50% rule, and open permits discovered before a closing,

Jim reminded members that the 50% rule covers a 5-year time period, so at the end of that time the process may begin again.

Jim also advised that the City is adding software to their computer system this summer/fall which will improve tracking of permits. He said that permit information including history on all properties will eventually be on-line and accessible to the public. Since closing open permits is a requirement of some Florida sales contracts and permit information currently is not readily available on-line to property owners (and Realtors®), that news was well received.

Florida Realtors® Honor Society

Florida Realtors logoAt the same meeting, four Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® were recognized for earning Florida Realtors® Honor Society membership for their recent work for the state association; their activity locally and nationally in the Realtor® organization, in national institutes, societies, and councils; for designations earned; educational activities; and political involvement.

SanibelSusan was awarded her 15th-year Florida Honor Society pin, while three VIP colleagues also were recognized: Jim Hall (19 yrs), Dave Schuldenfrei (9 yrs), and Shane Spring (1 yr).

Caloosahatchee Water Project To Begin

Caloosahatchee RiverA construction project that should improve water quality in Southwest Florida area has been approved. The Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Project which is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is slated to begin in October. This is a cost-shared project between the federal government and the state of Florida. The President officially signed off on the project June 10.

This project is just one step toward improving water quality on both coasts of Florida by reducing polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee to local waterways. The idea is to pull water out of the Caloosahatchee River during the rainy season when there is too much water flowing. Stored water in a newly constructed reservoir would then be released during the dry season to provide sufficient fresh water to keep the salinities at healthy level within the estuary.

This project is just a small part of the many solutions needed to improve water supply and water quality in the estuary, but definitely a move in the right direction!

Sundial Resort Announces Phase II Renovations

sundial-logoThe 2nd phase of the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa’s multi-million dollar renovation program is scheduled to begin in August, with completion expected in early November. It will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, pizza kitchen, on-site market and deli, and new soft tennis courts. The Sundial Buddies Kid’s Camp and Sanibel’s Sea Camp for Kids also will be launched. The pool bar and main pool deck area will be upgraded too. During the renovation period, Sundial’s four other condo association pools will be available, Sea Breeze Cafe will be open with live entertainment and full bar offerings, and resort amenities will be available to guests including the activities center, bikes, kayaks, and the new spa and boutique. The meeting rooms and reception areas also will be operational. More details at www.sundialresort.com.

Certified Master Chef at The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Sign2July08This posting came from the June 2014 issue of the “Sanctuary Sound”. No wonder there are so many raves about the great food at The Sanctuary.

“This past March, Daniel Scannell, Certified Master Chef (CMC) one of 66 in the country that successfully obtained the Certified Master Chefs examination joined the Management Team at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Administered by the American Culinary Federation and the Culinary Institute of America, the title Certified Master Chef (CMC) represents the most rigorous culinary test for a professional chef. “Chef Daniel is coming from Oak Hill where the 2013 PGA Championship was held with over 200,000 people attending the event. His education is impeccable, the awards and accolades numerous, and his passion for food is contagious. In Ireland he won The Jean Conil Perpetual Trophy for International Chefs, has been inducted into The Epicurean World Master Chefs’ Society in London, and been a member of the Culinary Olympic Team USA 2000, 2004, and 2008, to name a few achievements. We are very excited to have him on the team,” stated Ken Kouril, General Manager of The Sanctuary Golf Club.”

If you are interested in a property at The Sanctuary, whether it be a condo, home, or lot, please give SanibelSusan a call, she can arrange for you to try out the golf course/tennis courts and dine in the restaurant as part of your due diligence.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 20-27


No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #E31 2/1 $325K, Sundial #D304 1/1 listed for $339K, Coquina Beach #5G 2/2 listed for $415K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K, Sundial #O307 2/2 listed for $975K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I304 1/1 $360K, Blind Pass #G204 3/2 $485K, Sundial #L202 2/2 $629.5K.


6 new listings: 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $499K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 $599K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2 $729K, 667 Nerita St 3/2 $739K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $849K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 $1.695M.

8 price changes: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $299K, 490 Christine Rd 2/2 now $599K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 now $699.95K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 now $789K, 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 now $949K, 3400 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.149M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/3 now $1.395M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $1.695M.

5 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $449K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed for $459.5K, 236 Hurricane Ln 3/3 listed for $549K, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed for $1.695M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 listed for $2.85M.

3 closed sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $290K, 966 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $385K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $800K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $249K.

1 new sale: 5407 Osprey Ct listed for $499,555.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 $309K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas 3229 1/1 $215K, Beach Homes #6 3/3 $1.7M

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 $3.45M.


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.

Until SanibelSusan’s next blog posting on July 4th, happy summer to all…& remember it’s a great time to buy property on the islands! It is always easier to view during the summer.

Almost Summer & It’s Beautiful on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Florida Realtors logoSanibelSusan’s Friday blog out is going out a little early today as teammate Elise and I are heading to Naples this afternoon to participate in the Florida Realtors® District 5 “Believe” Tour Celebration. That is an event organized by our state leadership team who are touring the state, visiting every District, and speaking about the homelessness problem in Florida and how Realtors® can make a difference. Elise and I will be rolling up our sleeves with other Realtors® from our district and teaming up with Meals of Hope and the entire Florida leadership team to package meals and fill cases of food for distribution to food pantries in District 5 communities. (District 5 includes Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel/Captiva Islands.)

Below are a couple of news items from the week, followed by the activity posted over the past week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. But first a couple of photos that I snapped midweek at the Fulgur Street beach access, plus a sweet bloom also noticed on my travels this week.

Gov. Scott Signs Florida Flood Insurance Bill

Florida the sunshine stateOn Monday, Florida Realtors® posted the following news from Tallahassee:

“A Florida bill to ease the burden of skyrocketing flood insurance costs became law on Friday when signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The Florida Legislature approved the bill, SB 542, earlier this year.

“Despite recent reforms at the federal level to slow flood insurance rate increases resulting from Biggert-Waters, legislation passed by Congress in 2012 to reform the National Florida Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida Realtors and other business groups sought an alternative to the NFIP at the state level.

“The bill by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) encourages private insurers to enter the Florida market by giving them rate-setting flexibility and reduced regulatory burdens.

“Early on, the House and Senate disagreed on how much flexibility to give insurance companies on the amount of coverage required. In the end, SB 542 specifies four types of flood insurance policies:

  • one that mirrors coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  • one called “preferred” that requires replacement costs for contents, not the structure
  • one labeled “customized,” which will be defined by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
  • one that would wrap around NFIP coverage, i.e., “supplemental” coverage

“Florida Realtors continues to talk with Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, NFIP and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to clarify the coverage requirements on structures/contents and better understand the new law’s impact.”

Homebuyer Flood Insurance Relief

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrHere is a little more information on the subject of flood insurance. It is an important topic here on the islands. This is more good news, posted Monday on the National Association of Realtors® e-Newsletter:

“On May 30, 2014, FEMA announced the Flood Premiums and Rate Tables for 2015.  Each October FEMA issues the following year’s rate tables.  Releasing the rate tables at this time provides insurance companies sufficient lead time to update their rate quote software.  These rates will take effect this October 2014, and will be used to calculate refunds, to be issued later this Fall. According to FEMA, from their memo: “In every case, the attached rates are the same or lower than the October 1, 2013 premium rates.”  In other words, no one will see a rate increase next year and some could see a further rate reduction below this year’s level.  This is on top of rate reductions FEMA implemented last month, when it rolled back all rates so no older (pre-FIRM) property owner could pay more than 2013 subsidized rate for the rest of the fiscal year.”

11 Stunning Florida Towns You Need To Visit

a_view_from_the_lighthouseBuzzFeed.com posted this article on-line the end of May. Just in time for those making their summer plans, press like this is another reason the island continues to be such a popular vacation destination. Of the eleven stunning Florida towns that the article says you need to visit, Sanibel Island tops the list:

“Florida’s a big state, and possibly the best one to road trip through!

“1. For secluded and untouched beauty, visit Sanibel Island. You won’t find many buildings that are taller than a palm tree on Sanibel Island, and that’s because the city has taken careful measures to preserve the natural beauty of the area. The town is markedly devoid of fast food restaurants, which were banned and even stoplights. So get ready to step into a world that feels totally removed from the norm,,,,”

The other ten towns rounding out the list are: Tarpon Springs, Santa Rosa Beach, Delray Beach, Destin, Mount Dora, St Augustine, Fort Myers, Clearwater Beach, Apalachicola, and Amelia Island.

America’s Happiest Seaside Towns 2014

Captiva Banyan BeachNot to forget Captiva Island, “Coastal Living” just posted their annual list of 2014′s top ten spots to live in bliss by the sea!” You may remember that Sanibel Island made this list last year, so they were not eligible for 2014.

According to “Coastal Living” on-line, they began with reader nominations, plus all of the past places they’ve lauded as Dream Towns. From there, they looked at the rank on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals, geographic diversity, and their editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe”. They announced their top ten contenders in their March 2014 issue, and let America vote for its favorites. Here are the results:

1. Chincoteague, VA

2. Captiva Island, FL

3. Saugatauk, MI

4. St. Augustine, FL

5. Provincetown, MA

6. St. Simons Island, GA

7. Watch Hill, RI

8. Haleiwa, HI

9. Scarborough, ME

10. Bolinas, CA

Here is what the article had to say about Captiva Island:

CaptivaChapel“Local folklore holds that pirate José Gaspar hid his captives on this pristine island. A gorgeous prison, indeed: The slender barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico west of Fort Myers has pale, powdery sands graced with more than 250 types of seashells. A single main road runs Captiva’s five-mile length, making much of its raw beauty best appreciated by sea kayak. (Buck Key Paddling Trail, a best-kept paddlers’ secret, winds past green herons and gators.) There are plenty of finds on foot, too; shoppers here love the intimacy of Captiva Village along Andy Rosse Lane, which houses not only galleries and boutiques, but also a public library, community center, and the historic beachfront Chapel By The Sea. It’s a 10-minute stroll from the Village to sweeping Alison Hagerup Beach Park (aka Captiva Beach), a great sunset post for spotting the horizon’s famous green flash.

“Although Captiva’s sunny, mild climate means warm days year-round for its 400 residents, a particularly special time is May to October, when thousands of tiny loggerhead turtles emerge from their nests and make their way slowly to the water’s edge. They might be the only islanders who ever feel like leaving….”

Free Sea Monster Programs

Ding Darling Society logoIf you are one of the lucky ones on Sanibel this summer and have children with you, here are some fun things to do at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge. As reported this week in the on-line newsletter of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.

“As part of our summer Sea Monsters traveling exhibit from Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, we have scheduled related FREE films and interactive programs through Mote. The exhibit and programs are made possible by grants from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and a private family foundation.

The programs below begin at 2 p.m. on the designated dates:

  • Tuesday, July 8. 50-minute interactive Ocean Careers program.
  • Friday, July 11. 50-minute interactive Manatees program
  • Monday, July 14. 60-minute NOVA: Why Sharks Attack film
  • Monday, July 28. 60-minute Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid film
  • Friday, August 15. 50-minute Sharks interactive program.”

Housing Bubble Fears Brew Overseas

365px-International_Monetary_Fund_logo.svgAlthough much of this news is far-reaching, I found it interesting. It came from “Daily Real Estate News” last Friday.

“The International Monetary Fund says that several global housing markets are overheating, even in the U.S. – which is still digging itself out of a housing bubble that popped in 2008. Most of the warnings, however, have been issued for overseas.

“Economists are warning countries like China, Sweden, the United Kingdom (particularly London), and Canada that after years of rising housing prices, their housing markets may be overheating. In Sweden, housing prices have tripled over the past 10 years. In Canada, prices have been rising for years and some economists have speculated a housing crash is inevitable later this year.

“But China has many economists particularly worried that its property market is overheating, ignited by the widespread availability of cheap credit. Pan Shiyi, CEO of Soho China, even compared the market to the sinking of the Titanic: “After hitting the iceberg, the risks will not be in the real estate sector,” Shiyi notes. “The bigger risk will be the financial sector.”

“IMF policy makers are paying closer attention to the global housing market. Over the past year, 33 out of 52 countries in the IMF’s Global House Price Index have posted rises in home prices, even when the economies in the countries have been slowing down.

“In the U.S., home prices have risen by about 5% on a yearly basis ending 2013. However, the economy has grown by about half that amount. Markets growing by the largest amounts on an annualized basis – more than 9% – were the Philippines, Hong Kong, and China, IMF notes. Economists say that home prices, rents, and incomes should move in tandem with the economy. When they get out of alignment, a housing bubble can form.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 13-20


1 new listing: Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $749K.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #D204 3/2 now $399K, Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $449.5K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 now $810K.

1 new sale: Sundial #D408 1/1 listed for $359K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #J407 2/2 $495K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $685K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $955K, Tamarind #A101 2/2 $1.325M.


No new listings.

8 price changes: 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $419K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $499K, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $629K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 now $668.5K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $699K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.695M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.895M.

6 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $449K; 620 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed for $575K; 1049 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $599,555; 2569 Coconut Dr 2/2 listed for $639K; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 listed for $848K; 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/3 listed for $1.094M.

6 closed sales: 2050 Sunrise Cir 3/2 $525K, 1838 Long Point Ln 3/2 $639K, 1019 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $715K, 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 $750K, 512 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $875K, 235 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1.145M.


1 new listing: 1336 Eagle Run Dr $262.5K.

3 price changes: 9277 Belding Dr now $198.9K, 3792 Coquina Dr now $329K, 2562 Coconut Dr now $349K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1042 Blue Heron Dr $420K.


1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 $649K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #4B 3/3 $750K.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11547 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed for $1.375M.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes to all for wonderful weather wherever you are this weekend too.

(I hear there still are some vacancies for the 4th of July if you want to have some small town island fun. It’s just around the corner!)VIP Flag 2012


A Peek at Dinkins Bayou on a Friday Afternoon

It’s been yet another quiet yet sunny real estate week on Sanibel Island. There was a quick shower this morning and most evenings thunderstorms from the other coast as well as from the gulf side have tried to make their way to the islands, but it has rarely happened.

Here are a few snapshots that Dave took this afternoon while he was out checking our signs. This is Dinkins Bayou from the end of Henderson Road on the west end of Sanibel Island.

Now some news items from SanibelSusan followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Realtor® Happenings

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday had as many affiliate members in attendance as sales associates, so another indication that it is a slow time for island sales. Occupancy is expected to pick up for the upcoming July holiday, but in the meantime, it is a good time to play catch up.

Rental managers are doing their yearly property evaluations, Realtors® are beating the bushes looking for new listings, and the push with annual projects has begun with many condo associations beginning their maintenance and remodeling work early this summer.

realtor logoI was asked to Chair our Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee again this year so that will take a few hours of time later this summer. We have two board positions opening up this year. Sharing, like volunteering always comes back in business multifold, so I am happy to do it.

meals_of_hope(1)Next Friday Realtors® from our District will be in Naples with their sleeves rolled up teaming with Meals of Hope and the entire Florida leadership team to package meals and fill cases of food for distribution to food pantries in District 5 communities. 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows will be there to speak about the homelessness problem in Florida and how Realtors® can make a difference.

Another Best for Sanibel Island

USNewsLogoU.S. News Travel ranks the best destinations in the USA. They combine expert opinions and user votes to determine the best travel spots in a variety of categories. Under “Best Beaches in Florida”, Sanibel Island is #2. The others rounding out the top seven include: Destin, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, and Key West.

Florida Treasurer Lauds State’s Economic Turnaround

NW FL Daily News logoGood news, posted yesterday in the “Northwest Florida Daily News” in Fort Walton Beach, FL:

“Florida’s treasurer has called the state’s recovery from the economic downturn a story of the human spirit and of people who do not give up and quit. Jeff Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, was the guest speaker for Wednesday’s Power of Business breakfasting meeting hosted by the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. Atwater started his talk by thanking the business leaders for turning around Florida’s economy.

Florida-s-Chief-Financial-Officer_logo“You’re the ones who are building this economy,” Atwater said. “You’re the job creators of this state, you’re the innovators, you’re the ones that create the hospitality, the memories and experiences that people will talk about after they visit.”

“Atwater talked about Florida’s recovery by first talking about how far the economy fell during the recession. In 2006, Florida’s top line revenue from sales taxes, licenses and fees, corporate taxes and doc stamps was $27 billion. The average single family home price was $258,000 and 365,000 people moved into the state.

“Fast forward three years and top line revenue had dropped to $21 billion, the average home price plummeted to $119,000 and the number of people who moved to the state fell to 20,000. During this time, the state also received a letter from Standard & Poor’s downgrading the state’s credit rating from neutral to negative.

“”I don’t stare at the state books,” Atwater said.  “I can’t change the state books by staring at them and I can’t make your life better by staring at my books. The choices this state made were not to stare at our books in that nightmare moment, but to instead look up and look outward and ask what can we do to create the conditions for the fastest possible recovery.”

Since that time, the state has reduced its spending and debt as well as corporate taxes for small business owners to improve the economy. Atwater said the state’s top line revenue was back up to $26.5 billion, despite the lower taxes and debt, average home prices have gone back up to $175,000 and 287,000 people are estimated to be moving to Florida this year. S&P also upgraded the state’s credit rating back to neutral. “You didn’t give up. You hung in there,” Atwater said.””

Brazilians Make Their Mark on Florida & Beyond

fifa-world-cup-2014-logo-3Yesterday, to mark the beginning of the World Cup, Florida Realtors® posted the article below, sourced to The Associated Press. The article got me thinking about how many Brazilians own real estate in Lee County, so I did a quick property search. Answer: just 32 according to the Lee Property Appraiser’s website, www.LeePA.org.

“As all eyes turn to Brazil for the World Cup, Brazilians in the U.S. are also gaining notice. According to the U.S. Census, more than 325,000 people of Brazilian ancestry now call the United States home, but experts put the numbers higher.

“Most have come since the late 1980s, first landing in the nation’s traditional Portuguese-speaking enclaves around Boston and more recently congregating in central and South Florida. Still others have settled in New York, California and New Jersey….”

Will Stainless Steel Lose Its Popularity?

The following article posted on-line on Monday from REALTOR® Magazine doesn’t exactly answer this question, but this is a subject that comes up often from owners looking to renovate kitchens. Interesting to read what the future holds for kitchen appliances.

stainless-steel-kitchen-cabinets-ikea“Appliance manufacturers are providing home owners with modern finishes to their kitchen appliances, and some of the offerings have even been touted as the “new stainless steel.”

“Appliance makers are in the search for a potential successor to stainless steel, which some designers say will eventually wear out its welcome. But so far, no introductions have touched upon the popularity of stainless steel, and stainless isn’t likely to be doomed to the same fate as 1970s avocado-colored appliances anytime soon.

“Still, some home owners have complained about the annoyance of fingerprint smudges and the upkeep in keeping their stainless polished. Eventually, that annoyance may tempt them to look more closely at some of the alternatives popping up in the last two years. Some appliance makers are choosing to still channel the stainless look in their alternatives so that home owners could even make a gradual switch. Other manufactures, however, are opting to offer more bold alternatives.

“Could any of these finishes have the potential to dethrone home owners’ love for stainless steel one day?

Ice-Glazed – Whirlpool introduced last year its White Ice collection of appliances, and at the time called white “the new stainless.” The glossy white appliances feature silver accents. Whirlpool also offers a Black Ice version — black appliances with silver accents.

SlateGeneral Electric is offering up slate as an alternative. The low-gloss gray finish is “inspired by the rich texture of stone” and “provides a warm, inviting alternative to stainless steel,” GE says on its website. GE also notes that the dark matte finish hides fingerprints, smudges, and dirt.

Colorful Options – Viking Range offers several various colors of appliances, such as in cobalt blue. Viking Range Corp. which was a pioneer in stainless with its debut in 1987 of a stainless steel open-burner range is providing home owners a colorful array of options with appliances. It has 24 color alternatives, from cinnamon, wasabi, kettle black and Dijon to plum, sea grass, and cobalt blue. Or, the company’s graphite gray may be a little less bold for more home owners who are looking to make a switch from stainless.”

Builders to Widen Stock of Green Homes by 2018

EcoBrokerOriginalCertifiedLogo150pAs posted in the “Daily Real Estate News” yesterday, “An upswing in green building is expected over the next four years as more widespread adoption takes hold, according to survey respondents in McGraw Hill’s latest SmartMarket Report.

“More than one-third of single-family builders or 34% report that more than 60% of their projects are “green.” What’s more, 62% of builders say they expect that more than 60% of their single-family homes will be green by 2018.

“The multifamily market is also going green. The number of multifamily builders who say that 90% of their current projects are green is expected to triple by 2018, rising from 6% to 18%, according to the report. Forty-two percent of builders say that more than 60% of their projects will be green by 2018. (Currently, 23% are operating at that level.)

“Builders say that buyers are showing more willingness to pay for green features. In 2013, 73% of single-family builders and 79% of single-family remodelers said that buyers were willing to pay a 3% to 5% premium for green homes. For multifamily homes, 68% of builders said that buyers were willing to pay more.

“In the survey, builders identified the following main drivers to building more green homes: energy cost increases; code, ordinance, and regulation changes; and green-product availability and affordability.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 6-13


3 new listings: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 $249K, Blind Pass #D204 2/2 $445K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 $479K .

1 price change: Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 now $575K.

1 new sale: Sundial #D408 1/1 listed for $359K.

2 closed sales: Seashells #6 2/2 $340K, Pine Cove #302 2/2 $1M.

3 new listings: 702 Donax St 2/2 $449K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 $785K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $1.295M.

4 price changes: 5141 San-Cap Rd 2/2 now $310K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $539K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $859K, 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.199M.

3 new sales: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed for $775K, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 listed for $4.399M.

2 closed sales: 696 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $560K, 9007 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $960K.


1 new listing: 643 E Rocks Dr $335K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.



Nothing to report.

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


w gulf dr sanibel beach with peopleUntil next Friday, SanibelSusan hopes your weather is bright & sunny too!

It is Yet Another Gorgeous Friday Afternoon on Sanibel Island

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

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

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

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

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


Sanibel & Captiva 2014 Sales Stats

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


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



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


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


Resort & 2nd Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

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

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

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

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

Housing Market Reaching Equilibrium

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

No new listings.

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

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

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


Nothing to report.

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

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

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

May Ends “Flamboyantly” on Sanibel Island

It’s another beautiful Friday afternoon on Sanibel and Captiva. This week islanders have settled into a typical summer pattern. Traffic is light, the restaurants are being patronized by mostly “locals”, and the late afternoon white popcorn clouds are making their way across the causeway bringing quick, but often heavy, late-day showers. Lee County Schools ended their academic year at noon Wednesday so family vacations will begin soon.

Below is a photo that I shot today on my way back to the office after lunch. It is one of the last blooming royal poinciana trees, located near the entrance to Lake Murex. May is generally the month for those trees to bloom “flamboyant”ly (as the tree is called in the Caribbean). Most of the trees here have already leafed out, but this one is still in its glory!


If you didn’t receive a copy of my recent newsletter, “The Sanibel Scoop, with Captiva Chatter”, here is a link: SanibelScoop_05-12-14_Booklet.

SanCapAssnLogoAt our bi-weekly Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Association of Realtors®, attendance was low and only a handful of new listings were announced. Following a few news items below is a report of all of the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

35th Annual Road Rally Registration

flag-p-smIf you will be here for the next holiday, it is always fun to participate in the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club’s longest-running 4th of July event. With the proceeds going to local scholarships, this year marks the 35th year of the July 4th Road Rally. The rally begins in the Timbers Restaurant/Sanibel Grill parking lot at noon (after the parade) and ends at the Grill with an after-glow party. The $35 entry fee covers a car, the driver, navigator, and unlimited crew members plus one commemorative Road Rally T-shirt. Additional T-shirts are available for $15. It is not a race, but rather, teams puzzle out clues while following a prescribed driving course around the island. Prizes are awarded for finishing in the correct time, at the correct mileage, for the most correct answers to the quiz about things seen along the route, and for the best decorated vehicle. The number of entries is limited with forms available at Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Cafe, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, “Island Sun” newspaper, and at the starting line. Staggered starting times are pre-assigned by the Rally Master. (As one who has participated in the Rally, rest assured that you do not need to know island geography to win.)

Permeable Paver Ordinance Passed from Planning to City Council

Sanibelcityseal logoAt the Sanibel Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday, a draft ordinance which would amend the City Land Development Code allowing, under certain conditions, the use of permeable pavers within driveways and parking areas of single-family homes, and duplex/triplex residences was discussed. A recent study shows that the use of materials such as sand, shell and gravel can become more compacted and less pervious over a period of years. The draft ordinance about the use of permeable pavers has some provisions. City Council is expected to conduct a first reading of it on June 3.

Sea Turtles & Snowy Plovers & Tarpon

‘Tis the season for all three!

Sanibelfirstturtlenest2013Most loggerhead sea turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand, but twice last week on Sanibel two Sea Turtle volunteers reported seeing different females heading back into the gulf at sunrise (one east-end and the other at Bowman’s Beach). Nesting runs until October, so if you are a beach-walker, please be on the lookout for these wonderful creatures. Do not to disturb them or their nests. More than 60 nests already have been marked on Sanibel/Captiva. Track the nests at www.sccf.org.

snowy ploversThe Conservation Foundation (SCCF) also reports that as of last week, 12 snowy plover nests have been spotted and marked. Three have already hatched chicks. These birds are so tiny that sometimes visitors miss them. SCCF has a Snowy Plover program coming up next Tues, Jun 3, at 1:30 p.m. It’s free to SCCF members and children. $5 for non-members. Definitely worth attending if you want to learn more about these fascinating little guys.

TarponThis week, local fishermen have been posting lots of Facebook photos of their catches, plus shots of plenty of tarpon rolling and jumping. With tarpon size varying from about 40 pounds to more than 150 pounds, the fish stories seem to be more plentiful this year than last May.

Lee Memorial Health System

Lee memorialA frequent question posed to real estate professionals in Southwest Florida, is “how is the medical care here?” Short of saying that there are lots of healthy old retirees in the Sunshine State and that HealthPark is just a few minutes off the causeway, here is some good info from the Spring 2014 Lee Memorial Health System Foundation booklet, “The Gift” (Helping Hands, Caring Hearts):

“Your generous donations make it possible for Lee Memorial Health System to:

  • Operate the only state-approved Level II Trauma Center between Tampa & Miami
  • Have more than 1 million patient contacts each year
  • Rank among the Top 50 hospitals in the nation
  • Maintain the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between Tampa & Miami at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.”

See foundation info at www.LeeMemorial.org/foundation.

Experts Say Home-Price Appreciation to Slow Down Through 2016

In an article posted by RISMedia and summarized in “Daily Real Estate News” on-line last week, “home values are expected to appreciate by 4.4% on average through the end of the year, but that rate will slow to 3.8% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016, say 106 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists surveyed by Pulsenomics LLC.

“After a sharp double-digit percentage increase in home values last year, the rollback in appreciation would put them more on par with historical norms. Prior to the housing bubble years of 1987 to 1999, home values averaged 3.6% growth per year.

“The majority of economists surveyed say they expect median home values to exceed their pre-recession peaks by the first quarter of 2018. They cited the following as the most common concerns for declining housing affordability: income growth (28%); abnormally high rates of home-price and rent appreciation (27%), and an abnormally low supply of homes for sale or rent (21%).

““Time will tell whether Washington’s unfolding plan to expand mortgage credit will have a durable, positive impact on home values, housing confidence, and market expectations,” says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics.”

Negative Equity Key to Housing Roller Coaster?

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® posted the following article on Wednesday. It makes sense.

“One reason for the sluggish housing recovery: homeowners can’t sell their homes because they don’t have enough equity to do so yet, The Wall Street Journal reports.Nearly 10 million U.S. households – about 18% of homeowners with a mortgage – are still underwater, meaning their home is worth less than their mortgage. Home prices are rising, and the number of underwater homeowners is declining, but some still feel stuck.

“”Most move-up homeowners typically use their home equity to cover broker fees, closing costs, and a down-payment for their next home,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Without those funds, many homeowners can’t sell.”

“Some housing analysts say that understanding negative equity is key to understanding a lot of the distortions occurring in the current housing market.

“The picture has been gradually improving, however. While the number of underwater homeowners remains high, some reports show more homeowners regaining equity. About 4 million homes returned to positive equity in 2013, boosting the total number of non-underwater U.S. homes to about 42.7 million, according to a CoreLogic report.

“”The plight of the underwater borrower has improved dramatically since negative equity peaked in December 2009 when more than 12 million mortgaged homeowners were underwater,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Over the past four years, more than 5.5 million homeowners have regained equity, reducing their risk of foreclosure and unlocking pent-up supply in the housing market.”

Source: “Negative Home Equity Impedes Housing Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal (May 24, 2014) and “CoreLogic: 4 Million Homeowners Back Above Water in 2013,” HousingWire (March 6, 2014)

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 23-30


4 new listings: Colonnades #44 1/1 $207K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 $499K, Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $659K, Compass Point #112 2/2 $1.135M.

2 price changes: Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 now $499.9K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 now $539K.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/1 $282K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $550K (our listing & buyer), Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $750K.


4 new listings: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $389K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 $549K, 620 Hideaway Ct 2/2.5 $575K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $712.5K.

8 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 now $329K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 now $727.9K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $775K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 now $825K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $849K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $864K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 now $869.5K, 428 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.795M.

3 new sales: 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed for $698K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 listed for $890K, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 listed for $995K.

3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $420K, 340 E Gulf Dr 2/2 $479K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 $822K.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6081 Henderson Rd $195K.


1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5130 1/2 $275K.

5 price changes: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $715K, Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $965K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.025M.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2316 2/2 listed for $525K, #6 Beach Homes 3/3 listed for $1.895M.

No closed sales.

No new listings.

1 price change: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M.

1 new sale: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 listed for $929K.

1 closed sale: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7M.


Nothing to report.

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


Here’s to a great weekend and a smooth transition into hurricane season which begins on Sunday!

Almost Memorial Day 2014 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Just in time for a 3-day weekend, SanibelSusan is ready for some holiday real estate business. Island weather is almost in full summer-mode with a few afternoon showers expected to crop up inland. It is AOK if they occasionally hit the islands too since rain still is needed and the after-affects usually make for great sunsets.

Doris sunset

With the islands quiet earlier in the week, our listings only had a handful of showings. A report of the Multiple Listing Service action over the last seven days follows a couple of news items. You will notice that another of our Mariner Pointe listings (the 3 bedroom) went under contract this week and we had a nice Gumbo Limbo home closing this afternoon.

19th Annual RPAC Auction & After-Season Party

19th Annual RPAC event with 2014 Assoc Prez, David Schuldenfrei; 2014 RPAC Chair, Toby Tolp; & FL Realtors Sr VP for Public Policy, John Sebree

19th Annual Sanibel-Captiva RPAC event with 2014 Assoc Prez, Dave Schuldenfrei; 2014 RPAC Chair, Toby Tolp; & FL Realtors Sr VP for Public Policy, John Sebree

This annual Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® event was held Wednesday again this year at The Sanctuary Golf Club. It included a golf outing, silent, and live auctions, plus after-party, all to benefit RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action Committee).

Wondering what RPAC is or does? If there is a federal, state, or local topic related to real estate, owner rights, and property values, you can expect a Realtor® PAC to be involved. In recent years, on the islands, we have benefitted from PAC money helping with such issues as water quality, flood insurance, beach re-nourishment, and build-back.

Wondering how each RPAC dollar is spent? 30% goes to the national Realtors® PAC, 45% goes to Florida Realtors® PAC, and 25% goes to the local associations.

Florida Realtors logoFor many years, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association has led the state in several fund-raising categories including the most RPAC dollars raised and the highest percentage of goal for a small board. Last year, we won four of the five trophies awarded, so you know what we want this year.

A special guest at this year’s event was Florida Realtors® Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, John Sebree, from Tallahassee. It was such a treat to have him update our members on what he and RPAC are doing. SanibelSusan’s “mystery basket” of closing gifts was auctioned off and SanibelSusan again was a major donor.

Tab for Captiva Beach Re-nourishment

Captiva Beach re-nourishment (10/13) photo by NBC-2

Captiva Beach re-nourishment (10/13) photo by NBC-2

According to an article posted Wed in the “Captiva Current”, “Captiva Island property owners are about to get an invoice in the mailbox. Owners holding some 1,108 properties are on the hook for about $5.7 million of a project designed to replace sand lost to erosion and storms. The 3-month Captiva Beach Re-nourishment Project cost nearly $20 million. The work replenished sand to nearly five miles of exquisite Captiva beachfront. The work ended in December. It is considered vital in protecting the region from storm damage, but nice beaches with fluffy sand also attract investment and tourists. Captiva is rated among the world’s finest vacation spots.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially had pledged $8 million towards the project, but yanked the funding due to technical issues related to easement and beach access, causing howls of resentment at the last-second decision. Lee County in 2013 upped its commitment to the project by $1 million to $7.1 million. Other sources covered all but $5.7 million in the restoration project.

“The bottom line is that Captiva must pony up the balance. Letters to individual property owners go out beginning May 19. There will be a June 5 public meeting at the ‘Tween Waters Inn/Resort, where property owners can voice concerns, applaud the decision. But it won’t change much, officials concede. The 5:01 p.m. meeting time has the flavor of a final notice.

“Some contention was raised May 13 by Mike Mullins, chair of The Captiva Community Panel, the island’s oversight group, voicing doubts about the formula for spreading the debt fairly among property owners. Mullins inferred he absorbed a large bill for a 2010 re-nourishment project, that homes were assessed differently based on the number of structures on a private residence, Mullins inferred he absorbed a large bill for a 2010 re-nourishment project, that homes were assessed differently based on the number of structures on a private residence, he said. Multiple structures could signify rental or multifamily, but not necessarily, Mullins said. The formula is largely based on home value, but the recreational and storm-benefit value also are figured into the complicated formula. “Homesteaders should be considered differently than second home (owners),” Mullins said.

“The invoice could be as low as $500, but go well above that figure considering the extreme value of some of Captiva’s beachfront homes. Each property will receive a bill. Property owners will have the choice fo paying the bill upfront, or spreading it over seven years, officials with the governing Captiva Erosion Prevention District said.”

National Flood Insurance Program Effective May 1

realtor logoWith flood insurance continuing to be a frequent question from prospective buyers and ground-level island homes popular, I thought it worth repeating the following article that was posted on-line by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) back on April 30:

“Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties (“pre-FIRM”) will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Instead of jumping to “full cost” for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller’s Oct-2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.

“NAR prevailed upon FEMA to implement this provision seven months early.  FEMA also extended the rate relief so all pre-FIRM properties (including 2nd homes and businesses) will begin paying Oct-2013 rates when they purchase or renew their flood insurance after May 1, including:

  • ALL buyers of a pre-FIRM property, not just those whose seller has an existing policy;
  • ALL recent owners who apply for a new flood insurance policy on a pre-FIRM property;
  • ALL recent owners who reinstate an old pre-FIRM policy that previously lapsed for any reason;
  • ALL recent owners who renew a policy on a pre-FIRM property bought or newly insured after the 2012 Biggert-Waters law.

“While expediting the rate relief, FEMA must still issue refunds to all those who paid more than their Oct-2013 rate.

“NAR will continue working with FEMA and Congress to quickly issue these refunds to anyone overcharged for flood insurance under Biggert-Waters.

“NAR Flood Insurance Resources on the Web:

The Resort & 2nd Home Market

ASSOC LogoSummer or the “off-season” is education time for most island Realtors®. This weekend, I will be updating the class that I teach in early June to students looking to get their “Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS)” designation. Earning that designation requires completing 12 different modules, each specific to buying and selling real estate on the islands. The module on the resort and 2nd home market is my specialty. I wrote this module three years ago and it has become more popular each year as that market has grown.

According to NAR’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, last year, vacation home sales were up 29.7% over 2012, with 38% of buyers paying cash. Nationally, vacation home sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006. Here on the islands, those numbers are significantly higher.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 16-23, 2014



No new listings.

5 price changes: Sundial #H411 1/1 now $277.5K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 now $475K, Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 now $499.9K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $540K, Sundial #E108 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #711 3/2 listed for $599.9K (our listing), Tamarind #A101 2/2 listed for $1.505M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Shores #2 2/1 $289K, Sanibel Moorings #1322 2/2 $400K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 $650K, Sundial #E208 2/2 $780K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $825K.


4 new listings: 580 Birdsong Pl 3/2.5 $599K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $625K, 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $898K, 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 $965K.

5 price changes: 490 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 now $379K; 1504 Angel Dr 4/3 now $745K; 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 now $799,407; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $864K; 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 now $1.029M.

5 new sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 listed for $599.7K, 1063 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $675K, 1529 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $787.5K, 1058 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 listed for $849K, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 listed for $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 $385K, 1659 Serenity Ln 3/2 $600K (our buyer), 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $700K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.4 $784.5K, 5690 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $745K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 $788K, 2749 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $900K, 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 $944K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 3792 Coquina Dr now $339K.

1 new sale: 1325 Eagle Run Dr listed for $475,555.

1 closed sale: Middle Gulf Dr $525K.



2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 $255.5K, Bayside Villas #5130 1/2 $275K.

2 price changes: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $975K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $1.195M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2634 3/3 $746.5K.


Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.

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

flag-p-smHappy Memorial Day!

Sanibel/Captiva Islands Weekend Forecast = Low Humidity, Sunny Skies, Low 80′s

BeachIt has been another week of pretty nice weather on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. The first of the summer showers arrived on Wednesday to the begin of the “rainy season”, but the water was needed. A gorgeous weekend is forecast with low humidity, sunny skies, and day-time temperatures in the low 80′s.

SanCapAssnLogoThere was low turnout at our first summer bi-weekly Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday and only eight properties were on tour. (That is not many new listings for a 2-week period.)

Teammate Dave held our new listing at Mariner Pointe (#811) open with just a handful of visitors.

Sand Pointe pool

Sand Pointe pool

He had nearly as much action the day before when he held Sand Pointe #122 open for a few hours.

It appears that a few condo owners still are poking around.

It is always positive to have those walk-ins at Open Houses.

Here are a few news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva MLS since last Friday.

SANSLogoOur “Sanibel Scoop with Captiva Chatter” newsletter is due back from the printer soon, so when it is, the next few days will be spent doing the mail-out chores we refer to as “lickin’ & stickin”. If you want to be on our mailing list, please send me at email Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

A Win for the Caloosahatchee

island-sun-sanibel-and-the-river-WeeklyWondering what the future holds for our water quality?

It was good news to read the below article in the “Island Sun” today.

ConservancyofSWFL“The Conservancy of Southwest Florida legally challenged and won a fight to protect the Caloosahatchee. State Judge Bram Canter agreed with the Conservancy’s position that the South Florida Water Management District “went too far” and was “clearly erroneous” in its new proposed rules to redirect water away from the Caloosahatchee.

“”The Caloosahatchee is one of America’s most endangered rivers,” said Robert Moher, Conservancy of Southwest Florida president and CEO.  “This waterway already faces extremes of too much or too little fresh water. Taking more water away from our treasured river during dry seasons would further exasperate a dire situation and lead to further ecological damage in the near term and long run.”

SFWMD logo“In February, the South Florida Water Management District put forward a rule it was developing to reserve water in the proposed C-43 reservoir for supplementing flows to the Caloosahatchee during dry periods – clearly a desirable goal. However, the same rule would also have expanded protections for other water users at the expense of the river itself – clearly a problematic outcome.

“”The district’s language, if unchallenged, would further contribute to negative consequences for our environment and the tourism economy on which we all thrive,” said Jennifer Hecker, director of natural resource policy with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida….Heckler says with the right balance of fresh water releases, during the wet and dry seasons, the Caloosahatchee can become a healthier and more productive ecosystem and, in turn, enhance our regional economy and quality of life.

“Prior to filing suite, Moher said the Conservancy of Southwest Florida repeatedly reached out to the district advocating for a more balanced alternative. “The Conservancy is known for providing sound research and presenting balanced solutions,” said Moher. “Litigation is always a last resort. We are pleased with the judge’s ruling. This is a win for Southwest Florida land, water and wildlife.”

“To get involved with or to learn more about the Conservancy’s campaign to save the Caloosahatchee, visit www.conservancy.org/ripple-effect.”

More Home Buyers Bring Cash to Closing

realtor logoHow about this news from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) last week:

“All-cash purchases are on the rise, despite a decrease in distressed sales and investor activity, according to NAR’s REALTORS® Confidence Index…. All-cash sales made up 33% of transactions in the first quarter, compared to 31% in 2013.

““Distressed home sales, most popular with investors who pay cash, have declined notably in the past two years, yet the share of all-cash purchases has risen,” notes Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “At the same time, investors have declined as a market share, indicating other changes have been underway in the marketplace.”

“Distressed home sales fell to 15% in the first quarter. For comparison, in 2013, they were 17% of the market and in 2012 they comprised 26% of sales. NAR predicts that distressed home sales will drop to a single-digit market share by the fourth quarter of this year. Meanwhile, investors’ share in the market is also falling – at 19% in the first quarter of this year compared to 20% of buyers in 2012.

““These findings beg the question as to why we’re seeing higher shares of cash purchases,” Yun says. “The restrictive mortgage lending standards are a factor, but the higher levels of cash sales may also come from the aging of the baby boom generation, with more trade-down and retirement buyers paying cash with decades of equity accumulation.”

“Trade-down buyers have been rising – making up 29% of buyers last year, according to NAR. Also, “a majority of foreign buyers pay cash as well, and the five-year bull run of the stock market has also provided financial wherewithal among higher wealth households,” Yun notes.

“In Florida, more than half of all homes purchased were from all-cash deals, according to NAR’s data.

“Florida is the most popular state for international buyers, who generally pay cash, as well as vacation-home buyers who frequently pay cash,” Yun says. “In addition, downsizing retirees are known to pay cash from the proceeds of their homes in the north. This helps to explain the disparity there, but that isn’t the case in most other states.” All-cash deals account for close to four out of 10 transactions in Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia.”

30-Year Mortgage Rate Reaches New Low for the Year

FreddieMacLogo_3After I posted last Friday’s blog, I saw this article sourced to “Freddie Mac” on Realtor®Mag’s “Daily Real Estate News”:

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.21% this week, the lowest since November 2013, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“”Mortgage rates continued moving down following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields after a dismal report on real GDP growth in the first quarter,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending May 8:

“30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.21%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 4.29% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.42%.

“15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.32%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.38% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.61%.

“5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.05%, with an average 0.5 point, holding the same as last week. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.58%.

“1-year ARMs: averaged 2.43%, with an average 0.4, dropping from last week’s 2.45%. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.53%.”

Sellers Are Becoming More Aggressive in Pricing

REDFIN logoAccording to a report issued by Redfin Research Center (May 8, 2014), more home sellers want to get aggressive with the pricing of their home. Forty percent of sellers say they plan to price their homes above market value, according to the latest Redfin Real-Time Seller Survey of 1,128 active home sellers across 25 U.S. cities.

“That can be a risky strategy and backfire, says Paul Reid, a Redfin Riverside area real estate professional. “Buyers this year are far less tolerant of overpricing, and homes that aren’t priced appropriately are likely to sit on the market until the seller is forced to reduce the price,” says Reid about the survey results. “Buyers often interpret a price drop as a sign there is something wrong with the home, leading some to negotiate even more aggressively or lose interest altogether.” In Riverside, 30.4% of homes for sale had seen a price drop as of March, compared to nearly 21% last spring.

“Fifty-one percent of home sellers say they plan to price their home in the middle range based on local comparable sales. About 8% say they plan to price their home low.

“Thirty percent of sellers surveyed say that rising prices over the past year has made them feel more confident about the security of a home investment. Sixty percent said that the rising prices have not changed the way they feel about their home as an investment.

“While more sellers say it’s a good time to sell, they do have some concerns when finding their next house. Sellers’ top concerns are affordability, competition, and low inventory in finding their next home, according to the survey.”

3 Tips for Selling a Small Kitchen

kitchenMany buyers are in search of great kitchen space. But the kitchen can be one of the trickiest rooms to stage, especially when the space is small.

“If your seller’s house is lacking in kitchen space, it’s important to make it look as appealing as possible”, says Megan Morris, founder of MHM Professional Staging. Morris, who has worked with celebrity clients, offers up these three tips to help sell a small kitchen:

1. Remove all clutter and appliances from the countertops, leaving only one or two decorative items. This will make the space appear cleaner and larger, she says.

2. Make sure the kitchen is getting plenty of light. Dark spaces appear smaller, Morris says, so to open up the space make sure any windows are allowing maximum light through. If that’s not possible, add appealing forms of artificial lighting to do the trick.

3. If the cabinets have seen better days, consider painting them white. White reflects light and helps make a space feel much bigger and open.”

Good Things Happen With an Electric Co-op

Lcec logoLCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op which services Sanibel & Captiva Islands) announced in its May newsletter that “the Board of Trustees recently approved an equity distribution of $12.2 million to current and retired members’ accounts. Members with accounts closed since 2006 will receive a total of $6.1 million. Customers with current and retired accounts will receive a total distribution of $6.1 million. Over the years LCEC has returned more than $220 million in equity to its customers…. Only about half of the 1,000 electric cooperatives in the U.S. return equity to customers.

money“In June, checks will be mailed to active members receiving more than $250. Customers received $250 or less will receive a credit on their electric bill….”

Survey Reveals What’s Hot and What’s Not

Redfin 2nd logoWhen I read this article on Daily Real Estate News on-line yesterday, I had to agree with what this Redfin survey reported:

“What are some of the most popular home features luring home buyers? The real estate brokerage Redfin surveyed 435 of its real estate professionals across the country to find out what the biggest real estate trends are with home features. According to the survey, real estate professionals identified the following features as the most popular among home buyers:

•    Open floor plans
•    Move-in-ready homes
•    Granite in areas such as bathrooms or kitchens
•    Upgraded windows
•    Locations near public transportation
•    Energy-saving appliances
•    Large closets
•    Updated lighting fixtures
•    Two-story home with a bedroom on the main floor
•    Wood floors

“The survey revealed the following home features are not popular with home buyers:

•    Popcorn ceilings
•    Carpet
•    Lack of parking
•    Small kitchens and bathrooms
•    Minimal amount of natural light
•    Dated homes
•    Wallpaper
•    Low ceilings
•    Limited storage space
•    Loud location on a busy street”.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 9-16, 2014


6 new sales: Seashells #15 2/2 $325K, Seashells #33 2/2 $349K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 $439.5K, Sanibel Arms #C1 2/2 $499K, Sandalfoot #3D3 2/2 $630K, Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $1.35M.
1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #474 2/2 now $469.9K.
6 new sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/1 listed for $299.9K, Sundial #G407 1/1 listed for $339K, Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 listed for $490K, Sundial #J407 2/2 listed for $539K, Sayana #103 2/2 listed for $715K, Sandals #D 4/3 listed for $1.975M.
5 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $369.5K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 $424K, Pointe Santo #E32 2/2 $695K, Compass Point #133 2/2 $1.1295M, Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 $1.35M.


8 new listings: 1434 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $575K, 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $629K, 2569 Coconut Dr 2/2 $639K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $649K, 949 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $775K, 1529 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $787.5K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $895K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.389M.

1 price change: 1526 Bunting Ln 5/3 now $525K.

9 new sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 listed for $299.9K, 966 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $398.5K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 listed for $435K, 2551 Sanibel Blvd 3/2 listed for $489K, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 listed for $749K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 listed for $799K, 512 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed for $925K, 235 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $1.195M, 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5  listed for $1.595M.

4 closed sales: 950 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $485K, 791 Pen Shell Dr 4/3 $1.1M, 2520 Harbour Ln 3/2.5 $1M, 909 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 $1.1427M.

Nothing to report.
No new listings.
4 price changes: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 now $275K, Beach Villas #2618 2/2 now $665K, Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $985K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.095M.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $6.75M.
1 price change: 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $14.85M.
1 new sale: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed for $2,999,999 (short sale).
1 closed sale: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 $1.699M.


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 to talk about island real estate this weekend?

Call SanibelSusan (888-603-0603 or 239-472-HOME (4663).

Some of the best island deals can be made this time of the year!