Friday on Sanibel: Real Estate, Ospreys, Earth Day, GoMLS, & more

It is SanibelSusan reporting the end of another week of terrific Florida weather. Traffic on Sanibel and Captiva Islands has subsided a little, but the islands remain fairly busy. The good news is the locals again are talking about being able to get in at restaurants without much of a wait. It also appears that most of the buyers returning to view property now are serious! Yay!

I missed chatting with client/friends from California who stopped in at the office last Saturday while I was writing an offer. While they were talking to Lisa, Scott gave me the AOK to share his recent osprey photos in my blog. So thank you, Scott.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

The SanibelSusan Team and I are happy to report that we had a nice closing yesterday, one of those where we had to go find the property as none were for sale in that particular complex. Big shout-out to Arika at VIP for coming to our rescue on that one. Picture below of the view at Gulfside Place #318. GSP 318 cropped

Though it does not happen often at this time of the year, Dave, Elise, Lisa, and I have all been on listing presentations this week. Good to know that some fresh listings may be coming on the market this summer.

Over the last couple of days, I also have been negotiating several offers. Some are still cooking and one has been accepted verbally. They include offers coming in on our listings and a couple that I have written. That confirms, it has been a busy week!

With at least two new listings coming our way, all-in-all, it was yet another productive week for SanibelSusan Realty and good to see island good real estate action continuing during the time we often refer to as the “shoulder” period. More buyers are coming over the weekend too. Over the next few days, Dave and I both will be out showing property.

Good Multiple Listing Service activity was posted over the last seven days as shown below. First a couple of news items:


sancap GO MLS logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service has announced a new mobile app. “SanCapGoMLS”, designed for use on smart phones/tablets, zeroes in on the user’s location and identifies properties for sale in the surrounding area. It also can perform quick property searches for any listings in the MLS. The user specifies the search criteria and the results are immediate, mapped, and with all the photos.

If you’d like us to email you a link so you can install the app too, just send me a quick email ( or text message (239-565-3128). It’s free!

Fun to use too, if you are one of those folks who wonders about the details of a property when you see a “for sale” sign. Of course, the database also contains properties for sale in the communities that do not allow signs too. So get all the scoop about all the listings with SanCapGoMLS. It’s a great tool.

Celebrate Earth Day Tomorrow at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Ding Darling Society logoJoin in the celebration tomorrow at the “Ding” Darling Refuge where Wildlife Drive is FREE to hikers and bikers from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE bike rentals will be provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers (pick the bikes up at Tarpon Bay Explorers’ location). Earth Day mascot “Bagzilla” will make appearances throughout the earth-friendly day and free program. Click here for flier.

Real Estate Likely to Ride a 3-Year Wave

realtor logoHere’s a positive article from last Friday’s “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to “Urban Land Institute”:

“The real estate industry is expected to strengthen this year and continue to get stronger through 2017, according to a new report released from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, which is based on a survey of the industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Survey respondents said that the residential, single-family housing sector remains in recovery mode and economists predict that housing starts will rise from 647,000 in 2014 to 700,000 in 2015; to 815,000 in 2016; and 900,000 by the end of 2017.

“Economists predict that existing home prices will rise through 2017 — rising 5% this year; another 4% in 2016; and by 4% in 2017.

“”In summary, almost all U.S. real estate participants would be very pleased if the future unfolded as predicted by the ULI consensus forecast,” says ULI leader William Maher, director of North American strategy for LaSalle Investment Management in Baltimore. “The forecast represents almost the perfect combination of strong economic and property market fundamentals, combined with an orderly wind-down of monetary stimulus.”

“Although an economic downturn could throw off these predictions, as well as interest rate spikes or oversupplies, “real estate pros predict three more years of smooth sailing for U.S. real estate,” Maher adds.

Survey respondents were also upbeat with their forecasts for the commercial market, including:

  • Office sector: Respondents expect rental rates in office space to rise 4% this year, 4.1% in 2016, and 3.5% in 2017.
  • Apartments: Respondents expect rental rates continue to push upward, rising by 3.5% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.7% in 2017.
  • Retail: Analysts expect that rental rates in the retail sector to rise by 2% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.9% in 2017.
  • Industrial/warehouse: Analysts expect rental rates in the warehouse sector to rise by 4% this year, 3.8% in 2016, and 3.1% in 2017.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 10-17 



2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 $499K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $995K.

LC 353 View

View from Loggerhead Cay #353


5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $229.9K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 now $369.9K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 now $750K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $769K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $799K.

4 new sales: Sundial #F303 2/2 listed for $495K, Sundial #R304 2/2 listed for $799K, Dosinia #2B listed for $1.299M, Seascape #205 3/3 listed for $1.849M.

5 closed sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 $360K, Sanibel Arms West #L5 2/2 $500K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 $695K, Gulfside Place #318 2/2 $1.25M (our buyer), Beachcomber #C102 2/2 $1.5275M.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $449K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 now $619K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $899K, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.045M.

5 new sales: 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $579K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $849.9K, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.195M, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 listed for $1.695M.

8 closed sales: 2621 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $247K, 702 Donax St 2/2 $370K, 1712/1714 Sand Pebble Way 4/2 duplex $389K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $500K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 $665K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 $700K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $748K, 5721 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/3/2 $1.3M.


1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $299K.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $359,555.

1 new sale: 1336 Eagle Run Dr listed for $245K.

1 closed sale: 3792 Coquina Dr $305K.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #19 3/3 listed for $2.695M.

2 closed sales: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 $630K, Lands End Village #1606 3/3 $1.85M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.15M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.785M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16970 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

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

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, when I hope we have more good news to report,

Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

“High Season” Is Winding Down on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

sunset from master“Season” must be winding down. There were lots of empty seats yesterday at our Thursday Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtor® Caravan meeting.

Island traffic has eased up some too, but the bike paths, causeway, and beaches remain busy with lots of families continuing to enjoy the islands’ early summer-like weather.

Rumor has it that reservations are dropping from 100% occupancy to about 75% tomorrow. But, many of us still have buyers arriving – mostly those looking for investment properties that are hard to view in “season”.

Several states continue to have spring school breaks right through the end of the month, so the islands “shoulder” weeks this year should remain busy.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items. This week, we got a new home listing that went under contract in record-time. As the MLS report shows, over the last seven days, home sales outnumbered condo sales three to one.

141 Sanibel homes have already sold or are under contract this year, with just 135 remaining on the market. With Sanibel condos, 77 have sold and 112 are for sale. Lot sales are picking up some too; but 77 Sanibel lots remain for sale, with 24 sold/under contract this year to-date.

Below are a couple of photos thanks to teammate Realtor® Dave:

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Special SanibelSusan Gift

Old OfficeI got a great surprise Tuesday night after sponsoring the BIG ARTS 3rd Annual Photography Scavenger Hunt to benefit BIG ARTS scholarships. Island artist and BIG ARTS instructor, Bea Pappas, presented me with a thank you collage that she made. It includes an old Sanibel post card of our office building back in the days of City incorporation (1974). It was a gift shop then, called “The Last Straw”. Next time you are in the office, check it out. We have it proudly displayed by the front door, next to our antique Sanibel map from 1833.

Photo Scavenger HuntNext year’s Photo Scavenger Hunt already is in the planning stages, so if you will be on the island at this time next year, plan to join in the fun. After receiving just five clues, teams of two to four, with digital cameras in hand, scour the island to take pictures that they think best describe each clue. Some teams walk or bike, others ride. This year, the clues included: “warped”, “prickly”, “going up”, and “layered”.

Two hours later, the teams return to BIG ARTS and submit their photos. The pictures then are combined into a video showcase and judged, all while the teams enjoy a gourmet boxed dinner. After dessert, the video is featured during the awards show in Schein Performance Hall.

ButterflyScavengerHuntPrickly Scavenger HuntThis year, seven great gift basket prizes were awarded, one for each clue, a People’s choice award, plus the “best in show”. There were some creative entries.

Judges were Pam Broderson, well-known island artist and resident (, who for 24 years had a commercial photography studio in Chicago; island photographer David Meardon ( whose work is seen in many publications, including National Geographic; and long-time Fort Myers “News Press” photographer, Andrews West (

Steve Greenstein, Executive VP at the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, was the emcee again this year and only lobbed a couple of Realtor® jokes my way. Thanks to all who participated and contributed! And to Bea, we love the collage!

Nesting Alert

Ding Darling Society logoBorrowed this from the April 2, 2015 issue of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter:

snowy plovers“Spring means wildlife nesting season! Please be mindful of snowy plovers nesting on the beach. Click here for a bulletin about giving nesting shorebirds space. Please avoid areas on Sanibel beaches roped off to protect our plovers.

Alligators too are laying and hatching eggs this time of year. Mother gators can be very protective and aggressive, so avoid getting near their nesting areas and be extra observant out in the Refuge.”

The New Hot Housing Market: Vacation Homes

realtor logoTuesday’s “REALTOR®Mag” on line offered the following:

“It’s a good time to have a vacation real estate niche. Vacation home sales jumped to a record high in 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. Vacation home sales climbed to an estimated 1.13 million last year, the highest since NAR began its survey in 2003.

“Sales of vacation homes rose 57% compared to the 717,000 tally in 2013. Vacation sales in 2014 nearly doubled the combined total of the previous two years. “Affluent households have greatly benefited from strong growth in the stock market in recent years, and the steady rise in home prices has likely given them reassurance that real estate remains an attractive long-term investments,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Furthermore, last year’s impressive increase also reflects long-term growth in the numbers of baby boomers moving closer to retirement and buying second homes to convert into their primary home in a few years.”

Vacation home sales comprised 21% of all transactions in 2014 – the highest market share since NAR began conducting its survey.

“As vacation home sales soared, investment purchases dropped for the fourth consecutive year, the report showed. Investment home sales in 2014 fell 7.4% to an estimated 10.2 million in 2014 compared to 1.1 million in 2013. The market share of investment sales dropped to 19% in 2014 from 20% in 2013.

“”Despite strong rental demand in many markets, investment property sales have declined four consecutive years to their lowest share since 2010 as rising home prices and fewer distressed properties coming onto the market have further reduced the number of bargains available to turn into profitable rentals,” Yun says….”

Upbeat Economic Forecast for Realtors®: It’s No Joke

Florida Realtors logoYesterday’s FloridaRealtors® on-line, posted a summary of the recent Economic Summit in Naples (sourced to the “Naples Daily News”). The Naples market is much like that here on Sanibel and Captiva:

“Have you heard the one about two economists and an appraiser? Bearing happy national and regional forecasts, all three killed it before a cheering crowd of about 400 real estate agents at the annual outlook summit of the Naples Area Board of Realtors Tuesday afternoon at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

“The jolly tone was largely set by Elliott Eisenberg, former senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., who now runs his own firm called Graphs & Laughs. He brought out the lighter side of household deleveraging, yield curve inversions and the quirky global dance between the dollar and deflation.

“Pointing out that lower energy prices and interest rates have allowed households to pay down debt and put an extra $1,600 in family budgets, he noted that this has allowed people to spend more on “stupid stuff, which is the American way – and this is good for the economy.”

“But while having more money to spend, coupled with a strong dollar abroad, has made it easier to buy pricey imported fripperies like red-soled Louboutin shoes and sporty BMWs, as well as cheap European vacations, there are some downsides, he said. That’s because a strong dollar makes it harder for American manufacturers to compete internationally, he said.

“”When it comes to manufacturing, things kind of suck,” said Eisenberg, noting that improvements in that sector are what pull an economy in and out of a recession.

“And because “corporations have become tightwads” and aren’t putting as much money as they could into new plants and their employees’ paychecks, the economy isn’t rebounding as quickly as it could, Eisenberg said.

That’s put a damper on homeownership among first-time buyers, who are just starting to emerge from their parents’ basements and form households.

“Nevertheless, on balance, the future is rosy, he predicted.

“Hiring is up and new unemployment claims down, which should put consumers on a strong footing in the future. While seven would-be workers pursued every job opening during the recession, now fewer than two do, he said.

“You can sleep with the boss’s wife and not get fired,” Eisenberg joked.

“Moreover, he expects the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise short-term interest rates before the fall, and won’t do it quickly partly because it doesn’t want to spark deflation and partly because the “rest of the world is in the garbage can” and the global economy may suffer as a result.

“He expects rates will rise slowly from its current near-zero level to about 3.2% by the end of 2017.

“Eisenberg also doesn’t expect a return of the dreaded yield curve inversion, where short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates like mortgages, which generally presages a recession.

“”No recession is in the cards unless something external happens,” like a war or other unanticipated event, he said, exhorting the crowd of entrepreneurs to begin to take “prudent risks in your business – but don’t go nuts.”

“While he took a less jocular tone, Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo drew smiles when he noted that “short sales have become museum pieces” and that the issues that once dominated the market – namely foreclosures and huge backlogs of unsold supply – are no longer the bugbears they were a few years ago.

“What seemed like a mountain has turned into a ski run,” he said.

“Negative equity loans – also known as underwater mortgages – have also declined to about 30% statewide from about 50% five years ago.

“Predicting positive effects on the state’s economy from the opening of Cuba and the expansion of the Panama Canal, as well as continued population and job growth, he expects home sales statewide will rise 10% year-over-year in the near future.

“Home prices also will grow, he said, albeit at a slower pace than in the past. Values should rise about 4.5% annually, he said, which are close to historical norms.

“Naples-based appraiser Cindy Carroll remarked that on a local level, both price growth and inventory levels vary markedly by location and neighborhood.

“For instance, some places, like Port Royal, may have already reached the top of their economic cycle and now have an oversupply of inventory, while others, like Royal Harbor and the Vanderbilt Beach area, still have room to run.

“But she still expects a long-term appreciation rate of about 6% in most neighborhoods.

“While that’s not a return to the go-go years of the housing boom, Carroll is still bullish about the region’s overall growth prospects.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 3-10 

4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #121 1/1 $369K, Sundial #J401 1/1 $499K, Sanibel Surfside #117 2/2 $995K, Dosinia #2B 3/2 $1.299M.
2 price changes: Sundial #A305 2/2 now $799K, Seascape #105 3/3 now $1.825M.
3 new sales: Sundial #F306 1/1 listed for $379K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 listed for $459.5K, White Pelican #123 2/2 listed for $799.9K.
3 closed sales: Colonnades #44 1/1 $189.5K, Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 $285K, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 $2.1M.
5 new listings: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $529K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $585K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/3 $625K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $699K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $829K.
12 price changes: 982 Main St 3/2.5 now $439K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 now $525K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $565K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $639.9K, 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 now $759K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $799K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 now $899K, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $1.695M, 4206 Dingman Dr 4/3 now $2.695M, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.795M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 now $4.895M.
12 new sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $329K; 766 Donax St 2/2 duplex listed for $415K; 659 Donax St 2/2 $499K (our listing); 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 listed for $549K; 542 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $549.9K; 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed for $550K; 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed for $599,999; 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed for $789.9K; 4458 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 listed for $829K; 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 listed for $1.1M; 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 listed for $1.425M; 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 listed for $1.589M.
6 closed sales: 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $475K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 $800K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $850K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex $918K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 $1.09M, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 $1.835M.
659 Donax St

659 Donax St

1 new listing: 2453/2441 Los Colony Rd $225K.
1 price change: 0 Pine Ave now $248.5K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 4019 Coquina Dr $200K.
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 $595K, Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $610K, Beach Homes #19 3/3 $2.695M.
2 price changes: Bayside Villas #414 1/2 now $265K, Marina Villas #707 2/2 now $595K.
1 new sale: Marina Villas #902 2/2 listed for $650K.
1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1654 3/3 $1.6M.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.049M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.97M.
2 new sales: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 listed for $889K, 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 listed for $3.985M.
No closed sales.
Nothing to report.

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

TGIFHAPPY FRIDAY! SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)

Just Another Week With Gorgeous Weather on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s the next to last week of high season on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but the real estate action has been a little slower than expected. The fabulous weather with low humidity and warm summer-like temperatures with bright blue skies likely has kept the many families and visitors here instead engaged in other fun-in-the-sun activities.

Sundial Beach


Dave and Lisa took an afternoon drive through Babcock Ranch last Saturday. Check out Dave’s panther pictures below and you will understand why those animals are not on Sanibel. Takes a lot to feed a big animal like that. If you have not explored the ranch, it is an easy trip from the island and a nice time of the year to do it.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayTwice this week, we had a good walk-in interested in buying an investment gulf-front condo. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to find any that can be viewed during what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks on the island. Tenant turnovers tomorrow are expected to be heavy too with many of rental organizations bringing on extra cleaners and inspectors to get them through the Saturday check-out/check-in rush.

We had a nice closing on Monday and are checking the boxes on the activities coming up on a few others, while we also said goodbye this week to some snowbird clients heading home.

Attendance was light at our Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday with not many sales announced. Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

What’s Driving International Buyers to Florida?

Florida Realtors logoGood article in the April 2015 issue of “FloridaRealtor®”. Here are a few excerpts:

“Patricia Tan expects strong demand for Florida vacation properties from United Kingdom (UK) buyers this year. “Changes in the U.K.’s pension regulations will allow retirees to take out a lump sum in 2015”, says Tan, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Sarasota and the National Association of Realtors® president’s liaison to the United Kingdom. “While some retirees will buy in France and Spain, there is still plenty of interest in Florida as a second-home destination,” she says.

“That’s just one example of the way political, economic, and policy changes in distant parts of the world can significantly impact global demand for Florida real estate.

“”Our state’s growth is strongly affected by the international economic environment,” says Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness in Orlando.

“With its sunshine, beaches, easy access by air and competitively priced properties, Florida is an attractive destination for foreign buyers and investors.

“Studies by NAR consistently show that Florida ranks third behind California and New York in U.S. international sales. Historically, Canada, Europe, and South America have been the three biggest sources of foreign buyers in the United States, with a recent upturn in interest from China.

“Now, Chinese citizens can obtain business and tourist visas for 10 years rather than just one, making it easier for Chinese buyers and investors to spend more time in the United States including Florida.

“Global demand patterns vary from year to year, based on factors like currency exchange rates that make Florida properties less or more expensive for foreign buyers, as well as visas and tax regulations that affect international investors.

“Steve Cook, co-publisher and editor of “Real Estate Economy Watch”, expects an overall slowdown in international demand, partly because housing prices have rebounded strongly, following the 2009 recession. “Global buyers saw tremendous opportunities in buying distressed properties, especially along the Gulf Coast,” he says. “While we are not seeing that same level of interest today, there is still plenty of demand for resort properties, and prices are still affordable for buyers worldwide.”…

“Historically, French-speaking Canadians have bought homes along the I-95 corridor on Florida’s East Cost, while English-speaking Canadians have gravitated to the Gulf Coast along I-75…The Canadian dollar has been stronger than the U.S. dollar…Since Canada didn’t go through the banking crisis as the United States did six years ago, buyers feel confident about investing in Florida vacation homes…Exchanges are important to European buyers as well…

“While the United Kingdom is Florida’s biggest feeder market from Europe, demand from other countries fluctuates from year to year, depending on factors like convenient air connections, says Tan. “I have seen more activity from French buyers who want to invest in the U.S. for tax reasons, and from Dutch buyers looking for vacation homes on the Gulf Coast,” she says. “German buyers continue to be interested in Florida, and there has been an increase in vacation buyers from Scandinavia, thanks in part to a new flight from Sweden to Fort Lauderdale.”…Demand may lessen slightly due to the euro’s losing value again the U.S. dollar.”

Who’s Moving Here?

Also from “FloridaRealtor®” April 15:

RealtyTracLogo_166x32“According to housing market firm RealtyTrac, interest in buying U.S. housing increased by 95% or more in 10 countries, and at least doubled in nine of these nations. RealtyTrac ranks the 10 countries where interest in buying American homes is on the rise.

  1. United Arab Emirates – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 352.2% – While the country has just 9 million residents, it had more than 1,000 ultra-high-net-worth residents in 2014. Roughly 40% of the Emirates’ GDP was tied to oil and natural gas output, according to OPEC. Despite oil’s recent price declines, the number of ultra-high-net-worth residents has not declined.
  2. Switzerland – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 269.7% – Helping to make U.S. properties more appealing, or at least more affordable, is the considerable appreciation of the Swiss franc against the dollar over the past five years, up nearly 27% in that time.
  3. Hong Kong & China – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 254.2% – While China’s economy remains one of the fastest growing in the world, there are concerns about slowing economic growth and shadow banking activity in the country. Concerns about wealth protection may encourage wealthy Chinese residents to consider U.S. property.
  4. France – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 190.0% – France had nearly 4,500 ultra-high-net worth residents as of 2014, more than in all but eight other countries globally. Many observers and residents have criticized President Francois Hollande’s socialist policy decisions and the resulting high taxes. A number of reports indicate that residents may be leaving the country due to high taxes and tough regulations.
  5. Italy – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 178.4% – The faltering economy may encourage Italians to consider U.S. property as a relatively good investment. Italy is also home to a number of extremely wealthy citizens with the resources to invest globally.
  6. United Kingdom – Growth in prospective homebuyers – 153.8% – The U.K. government’s Help to Buy program, which provides financial help to prospective homebuyers in the U.K., has drawn controversy. Detractors of the program have expressed concerns that home prices in the U.K. could rise to unsustainable levels. Thus, U.K. residents may see U.S. homes as a safe or profitable investment.
  7. Austria – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 121.9% – The country’s strong economic growth likely contributed to the increased interest in buying U.S. property. Despite recent declines, the Australian dollar has gained considerably against the U.S. dollar, also contributing to the increased interest.
  8. Canada – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 107.7% – The strength of the Canadian economy may have given residents more opportunities to invest. Some residents may also find U.S. properties attractive because some consider Canada’s housing market to be overvalued.
  9. Sweden – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 100% – Many Swedes may consider U.S. property to be a good investment, especially as Sweden’s economy has been stagnant. Additionally, many Swedes might find U.S. home prices more affordable, as experts believe Swedish home prices are precariously high.
  10. Germany – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 95.2% – Contributing to Germans’ ability to afford international property was the country’s high number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in 2013, second only to the United States. Despite the weakness of the Eurozone economy and Germany’s slow growth, no major Eurozone country grew faster in 2013. However, interest in U.S. properties has tapered off recently.”

Some Ways International Buyers Can Own U.S. Real Estate

globe7Speaking of those international buyers, “FloridaRealtors®” April 2015, also offers this info:

“Here are some common ways international buyers can structure ownership of U.S. real estate to reduce their estate tax burden. Of course, buyers should always seek counsel to determine which course of action is best for them:

  1. Incorporation in a foreign jurisdiction. If the property has substantially appreciated in value since it was purchased, then a sale to a foreign corporation controlled by the nonresident alien or his/her family may be an option to eliminate exposure to estate taxes.
  2. Buy life insurance.       The proceeds of life insurance on the life of a nonresident alien are often not subject to estate tax and can provide liquidity to pay estate taxes.
  3. Draft a qualified domestic trust, if the foreign owner is married, either during the nonresident alien’s lifetime or upon his/her death. This may allow estate taxes to be deferred until the death of the surviving spouse.
  4. If other family members, such as adult children, are U.S. taxpayers, consider having them buy the property, perhaps subject to a mortgage in favor of the foreign parents.
  5. Consider using a two-tiered (foreign & domestic) partnership arrangement if the value and sophistication of the investment merits the additional expenses involved in doing so.”

How SanibelSusan Realty Markets Globally

TRC LOGOGlobal business begins with local relationships. Being a TRC (or Transnational Referral Certified) distinguishes SanibelSusan among over 2 million brokers and agents worldwide. It integrates referral business into my business plan and allows me to network through an international program, which also allows me to market myself and my listings on

This international network called The International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA), has resulted in the development of my own network of real estate professionals throughout the world who have personally selected me to be their real estate equivalent here on the islands. I currently have active agreements with 215 successful agents in ten different countries.

On the islands, just nine Realtors® also have earned their TRC. Only three of us are “Platinum” members of the group which gives our listings priority rankings, more visibility and translates them into the languages of the countries belonging to the consortium. Since my last name also begins with “A”, I am the top name on their island search list too (thank goodness for small favors like that).

Additionally, establishing a presence for international buyers through and has ensured that SanibelSusan listings make it around to the world to those searching for real estate in Florida.

Networking with other Florida colleagues is an important part of our global business too. Most Realtors® won’t give you a lead if they don’t know you, so when I am in Orlando each January and August at our FloridaRealtors® state meetings, I always make it a point to meet with other Realtors® with international clientele. Many of those in Miami and Orlando, where the global market is huge, know that SanibelSusan Realty is a go-to broker here for expert advice on SW Florida and island resources. (Here again my name helps, they remember SanibelSusan.) I have many life-long friends from years working on state committees and cherish their referrals.

My Friday island real estate blog brings international business too. This March showed the most readers to-date, with nearly 6,000 viewers. Subscribers in addition to those who sign up directly through the blog, others come through both Twitter and Facebook. I track the source of the readers, with 50% from Canada; 20% from United Kingdom; 15% Germany; 4% France; 2% each Australia, Sweden, Brazil; and 1% each Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Argentina, and United Arab Emirates.

Upcoming Island Events

childrens ctr21st Annual Spring Festival – April 4, Saturday, sponsored by the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, event at the Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty) from 9 to 11 a.m. Children are asked to bring an Easter basket for the FREE egg hunt at 9 a.m.

relay for life logoRelay for Life – April 10, Friday, at The Dunes Tennis & Golf Club, from 4 to 10 p.m., where cancer survivors and participants walk a loop with proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society.

MOAA logo2nd Annual Bob Janes Memorial Golf Tournament – April 14, Tues, at Shell Point Golf Club. As a former Sanibel Mayor, Lee County Commissioner, and friend through MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), Bob installed me as President of the local Association of Realtors® back in 1998. This event named in his honor raises funds to benefit various veteran charities, including Wounded Warriors of Southwest Florida. I know Bob would be proud to know that they hope to beat the $21K raised last year. 2015 goal is $30K.

Farewell to Katie

katieDuring the Lion’s Club Arts & Crafts Fair two Saturdays ago, I ran over to The Community Center to relay best wishes to long-time island restaurateur and artist, Katie Gardenia. She will be moving to North Carolina soon to live nearer her daughter and granddaughter. To say she will be missed here is definitely an understatement. Many know Katie as the former owner of The Bubble Room and another island restaurant, famous for her cakes. Others know she is an admired artist, doll-maker, collector, and an all-round gem of a gal.

Here are a couple of tidbits from Katie’s book “A Bubble Moment” as described in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”. Those of you who remember the early days of “The Bubble Room” should get a kick out of these. Each of Katie’s books is unique and contains some of her famous recipes. I cherish my copy and bought another one from her that very day, along with another piece of special Katie art. If you get to Flat Rock, NC, look for her new studio there.

  • “Another hiring ad in the local paper; and this time a couple, husband and wife from California responded to the ad. (At that point I was exhausted and would have hired anyone or thing that said they could cook.) They were hired on the spot and lasted all of two months. They went sailing one day and never came back…I was now doing lunch, baking from scratch sesame hamburger buns, quiche and adding more desserts.
  • “I always wanted to be a girl scout, but only made it the “brownies”. I went on a hunt for an old girl scout uniform, and finally found one at the Ortiz flea market in Fort Myers. It had all the bells and whistles, badges included. So our first server was a “real” girl scout, and I just loved the whole idea “living vicariously, I guess)…We were threatened with a lawsuit. Ok, we’ll just forget the girl and go to the boy, i.e. boy scouts. So, the servers (four by then) were dressed in boy scout uniforms.
  • “One of my favorite back screen door visitors was Mr. Paul Walken (Christopher Walken’s father)…he came to the screen door one day. I was baking: cakes were lined in rows ready to be frosted, icing in large bowls, dough rising, homemade bread waiting to be brushed with egg whites and popped into the ever-burning ovens. “Smells good in here. May I enter?”…he watched and said, “You don’t know the secret, do you.”
  • “I was baking my first batch of sticky rolls, and out of the corner of my eye I saw at the screened door a tall man with striped pajamas and a worn robe on, holding what looked like a skinned cat. Oh no, help me!”…you must be Mr. Rosse, Andy.” “Yep, that’s me, and I’m here to trade you this here possum for some of those sticky buns – SIX!” “What in the world do I do with a possum,” I asked. “Well, you boil it, of course.” (he said)”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 27-Apr 3 



2 new listings: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 $289,982; Blind Pass #B209 3/2.5 $549K.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $419.5K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $649.9K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.124M.

1 new sale: Lighthouse Point #127 3/2 listed for $699.9K.

6 closed sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 $180K, Captains Walk #E5 2/2 $285K, Sanibel Siesta #701 2/2 $494K, Sandalfoot #5C1 2/2 $665K (our Seller), Loggerhead Cay #522 2/2 $670K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 $700K.

Sandalfoot from beach


4 new listings: 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $579K, 1409 Albatross Rd 3/2 $595.9K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 $849.9K, 863 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $999K.

5 price changes: 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $560K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $575K, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.185M, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.54M.

4 new sales: 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 listed for $399K, 5089 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $489.9K (short sale), 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed for $775K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.05M.

3 closed sales: 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $480K, 1854 Farm Trl 3/2 $565K, 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $600K.


1 new listing: 1815 Ardsley Way $197,555.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 9426 Sage Ct listed for $229,555, 2324 Starfish Ln listed for $449K.

2 closed sales: 1299 Par View Dr $212K, 6411 Pine Ave $320K.



2 new listings: Beach Villas #2517 1/1 $508.5K, Marina Villas #706 2/2 $625K.

3 price changes: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $520K, Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 now $579K, Beach Homes #3 3/2 now $1.879M.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/3 listed for $829K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

3 price changes: 11535 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.2M, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.449M, 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $2.349M.

1 new sale: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed for $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $730K.


Nothing to report.

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

happy easterHappy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Real Estate Sales This Week on Sanibel Island

With Easter next weekend, “high season” on the islands is nearly over. Steady real estate sales were posted again this week making some Realtors® wonder what inventory will be left to sell through the summer. Yes, plenty of inventory remains in many complexes and subdivisions, but the in-demand water-view and near-beach homes are moving, as are large high-end condos.


After a few news items below is a summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week. First a summary of the Sanibel sales activity this year, compared to 2014 and the current inventory.

Prospective sellers, usually those who bought in the “peak” (i.e. 2006), often ask how the market has rebounded as compared to when they purchased. Price-wise, the market is back to somewhere between 2004 and 2005 (when the market was rising) or about 2008 (as it was declining). In a nutshell, property values are coming back nicely. Volume-wise on Sanibel, the 73 condo, 128 home, and 21 lot sales posted this year are huge increases in units sold. That’s what has some Realtors® worried.

Captiva’s smaller inventory has not seen the same increased level of activity, but I bet it comes later in the year.

SANIBEL           CONDOS                       HOMES                            LOTS

                          No.   Price          DOM    No.   Price            DOM    No. Price         DOM

For sale             111  $729,019   364     139   $1,445,729   227     78   $476,635   765

Sales pending    32    $791,600   352      65     $903,405      195      12   $513,038   449

Sold & closed:

1/1-3/27/2015    41    $726,982    373       63     $904,342     309      9     $314,433   356

1/1-3/27/2014    32    $717,964    208       50     $771,469     299       6    $386,592   633

NOTE: Prices & DOM (days on market) are averages.

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

Upcoming Sanibel Capital Improvements Projects

Sanibelcityseal logoWith the on-site of “off-season”, at Sanibel’s Capital Improvements Review subcommittee meeting this week, several ongoing and upcoming projects were discussed and approved. Here are just three of the several that were mentioned in the “Island Sun” today:

  •  Lighthouse Beach restroom construction is under way.
  • Bowman’s Beach shared-use path project will install a pathway from San-Cap Road to the beach park. Expected completion just after July 4.
  • Two intersection improvements (Periwinkle Way/Casa Ybel Road and Tarpon Bay Road/Island Inn Road) are in the planning design phase. Construction to be completed by end of November.

Why Age 61 Is Important to Real Estate

realtor logoThis was posted on Realtor®Mag on-line last Saturday:

“By age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live, according to a new study by Merrill Lynch, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices.” “Throughout most of people’s lives, where they live is determined by their responsibilities,” according to the report. “Most careers demand that people live within a reasonable commuting distance from where they and/or their spouse work. However, as people enter their 50s and 60s, they begin to cross what this study reveals to be the ‘Freedom Threshold.'” That’s the age when people say they can finally choose where they want to live, according to the survey of more than 3,600 retirees.

“Indeed, two-thirds of the retirees surveyed say they are now living in the best home of their lives. Most retirees move at least once during retirement. But surprisingly, only half choose to downsize into a smaller home. Three in ten of retirees decide to upsize into a larger home.  The top reason to upsize: They want to have a home that’s comfortable enough for family members to visit and stay with them, according to the survey. “Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations,” according to the report. Some choose to upsize so that family members can live with them too.

“Retirees say the ideal place allows spending time with others their own age yet they also seek to be around those of diverse ages. Compared to younger people, older Americans are far more likely to want diversity in age and generation among their communities and neighbors. As such, just 7% of retirees surveyed have opted to move into age-restricted retirement communities.”

NAR Takes the Global Stage at Cannes

globe7Posted in Broker IssuesCommercial Real Estate, by Wendy Cole on March 12, 2015, this article talks about how Realtors® are expanding into the international market. Cynthia Shelton, Florida Realtors® 2009 President, and others from Florida were in attendance.

“The improving U.S. economy and strengthening dollar provided a welcoming backdrop for the National Association of REALTORS®’ first foray to the major global real estate exposition known as MIPIM held this week in Cannes, Frances. More than 21,000 attendees from 93 countries have gathered to explore global investment opportunities at the trade show.

“The eye-catching 1,200 square-foot NAR-U.S. Pavilion highlighted the association’s commitment to global commercial interests while raising awareness about top markets for foreign investment in the United States. The pavilion showcased three robust U.S. markets that are internationally-recognized for their success in attracting foreign investment: Miami, Chicago, and Birmingham, AL. “There are quite a lot of connections to be made here at MIPIM,” said NAR Treasurer Mike McGrew, who is part of NAR’s delegation at the show.

“Attendee Cynthia Shelton, a commercial practitioner with Colliers International from Orlando, FL and current  Committee Liaison to the NAR Leadership Team was energized about the NAR’s presence at the show. “This is going to make the U.S.A. the place to be, to invest in even more than it is now,” she said, in an interview from a MIPIM broadcast on YouTube. “REALTORS® represent the boots on the ground. We’re hoping to bring more investors to the U.S. to invest in things like office buildings, residential developments, and retail.  When investments happen, cities give credits, get more taxes, and allow us to develop better projects which helps our schools and employers.”

“The wide range of countries at the show— from Belgium to Brazil— is generating considerable buzz. “Governments have invested large sums to attract attention from buyers, developers, and interested parties,” said Christopher Zoller, CRS, and 2015 residential president of the Miami Association of REALTORS®. “We are getting lots of inquiries here from people looking for investors or investments, developers or developments, small personal purchases or large scale opportunities. It is exciting to see the global scale of real estate excitement.”… NAR’s presence at the show has broadened awareness of the role of REALTORS® in commercial and global real estate. Approximately 70,000 NAR members offer commercial brokerage and related services. An additional 283,000 members are involved in a combination of residential and commercial work.”

Foreclosure Rates Near a ‘Significant Milestone’

RealtyTracLogo_166x32Realtor®Mag on-line Tuesday posted this article which is sourced to “RealtyTrac”. Florida continues to have a significant number of foreclosures, but has seen a 35% decrease since last year.

“Foreclosures continue to fall across the country and the return to normal levels may be on the horizon for many places, according to a new report. Foreclosure filings fell 4% in February, reaching the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings reflect the number of default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. The U.S. foreclosure rate now stands at one in every 1,295 homes that received a foreclosure filing in February.

“”Given that August 2006 was the peak of the housing bubble, this eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity is a significant milestone and a sign that nationwide foreclosure activity is on track to return to historic norms this year — and is possibly even headed below historic norms given the skinny-jeans-tight lending standards over the past five years,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In markets where foreclosures were processed more efficiently we are seeing foreclosure numbers now below pre-crisis levels in some cases. Conversely, the cleanup of deferred distress is continuing in markets where a logjam of in-limbo foreclosures is still lingering from the housing crisis — as evidenced by rebounding foreclosure activity in those markets.”

“24 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Activity was most elevated in Massachusetts (up 53% year-over-year) and New York, up 19%.

“The following states posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rates:

  1. Maryland: 1 in every 564 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February (foreclosure activity has fallen 1 percent compared to a year ago there, however)
  2. Nevada: 1 in every 569 homes received a foreclosure filing (a 12% rise from a year ago mostly from a rise in foreclosure starts)
  3. Florida: 1 in every 570 housing units (despite a 35% decrease in foreclosure activity compared to a year ago)
  4. Indiana: 1 in every 871 housing units
  5. Idaho: 1 in every 877 housing units
  6. New Jersey: 1 in every 895 housing units
  7. Illinois: 1 in every 906 housing units
  8. Delaware: 1 in every 957 housing units
  9. Ohio: 1 in every 1,000 housing units
  10. North Carolina: 1 in every 1,088 housing units”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 20-27 



6 new listings: Dugger’s Tropical Cottages #2 1/1 $329K, Sundial #C207 1/1 $429K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $639K, Sundial #K102 2/2 $839K.

(A few photos from Mariner Pointe below. 1st one is the view toward bay from #842, 2nd one is the view toward the canal. Others are some of the water-front amenities. There is a 2nd pool, on-site manager, & deeded beach access too.)

1 price change: Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

7 new sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 listed for $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed for $439K, Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 listed for $497K, Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 listed for $500K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 listed for $529K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 listed for $769K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 listed for $798K.

5 closed sales: Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $475K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $492K, Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 $522.5K, Atrium #204 2/2 $1.3M.


4 new listings: 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $819K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $985K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $1.749M, 5125 Joewood Dr 3/3 $3.195M.

8 price changes: 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 now $549K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 now $599K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 now $699.9K, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 now $1.695M, 6017/6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.775M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $4.25M.

13 new sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $330K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed for $479K (our listing), 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 lissted for $524.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $595K (short sale), 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 listed for $598.5K, 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed for $629K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $639K, 547 Chert Ct 3/2.5 listed for $695K, 603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $670K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 listed for $699.9K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed for $985K, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 listed for $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $415K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $425K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $480K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 $635K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 $1.275M, 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.83M, 4204 Dingman Dr 5/4.5 $1.85M, 461 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.995M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $369,555.

1 new sale: 6419 Pine Ave listed for $799K.

1 closed sale: 2380 Wulfert Rd $190K.



2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5106 1/2 $289K, Marina Villas #902 2/2 $650K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1606 3/3 listed for $1.85M.

2 closed sales: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $1.785M, Lands End Village #1606 3/3/3 $2M.


1 new listing: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $6.45M.

3 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.55M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.999M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.72M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 $2.5M, 15747 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $5.575M, 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $5.9M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 856 S Seas Plantation Rd now $2.48M.

No new or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday, best wishes for a great weekend! Susan Andrews/aka SanibelSusan


Another Sunny, Make You Smile Kind of Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Another Friday here already? How can it be? It may be that with the onset of spring, a few winter residents are leaving Southwest Florida. At my off-island dry cleaners last night they said they saw a huge drop in business this week. We haven’t seen much of a drop on the islands though. Traffic continues to be a challenge and our pals in the rental business say there will be another big turn-over of vacationers tomorrow.

Office Happenings This Week

SANSLogoSeason is flying by with The SanibelSusan Team’s time this week filled with showings, opening listings for showings, chasing down feedback, tracking tenants, updating pro forma/fliers, home inspections, monitoring contracts, and even a couple of listing presentations. Not the usual time of the year for new listings, but as the saying goes, “it pays to be the first born, the second wife, and the third listing agent.”  I expect we have a couple of those to announce in the weeks to come. (“Those” being new SanibelSusan listings, as the first two requirements of that saying are already met.).

Photos below taken by Dave from his cell phone from the roof of Bldg 1 at Seascape during the home inspection this afternoon by Ron Dehler, Horizon Home Inspection Service. It’s a gorgeous beach day!

Seascape Boardwalk

Seascape Bldg 1 roof 3-20-15

The week’s activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing system is after a few other news items.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® March Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoGood sales activity and again several price reductions were announced at our March Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting yesterday. There were two speakers at our meeting, both home inspectors. Their topics were radon and formaldehyde. Here are a few tidbits from their presentations:

  • Radon: Radon is the 2nd largest cause of lung cancer (smoking being first). The results of radon testing are tracked by state Departments of Health & EPA facilities. Interestingly the inspector, Adam Dalton with AmeriSpec, said that of the radon tests performed in Lee County 28.8% tested high for radon. (What is not known is how many are not tested. From my experience that answer is “many” or the majority by far.) He also said that the most radon has been found in high-rise condos. The composition of the concrete in the basic structures being the culprit. He also offered that the typical wood piling home on Sanibel with open lower level is probably the least likely to have a problem because this gas likely would dissipate because of the airspace below. When asked if granite – so popular in today’s remodels can be a cause – he said, “yes”. He also said that airing out a property before a radon test (rather than leaving it closed up for 12 hours as the test requires) will not produce a better reading, because the test protocol does not begin counting the test measurements until 4 hours into the test. The test is over an extended period (usually several days) and hourly records the amount of radon gas, temperature, pressure, and humidity. He also said that radon readings are usually higher during rain when the gas moves up.
  • Formaldehyde: Jonathan Tongyai with SanCap Inspections spoke on this subject. He said the formaldehyde scare is fairly new. As recently reported in a segment of “60 Minutes”, a synthetic wood floor product sold by Lumber Liquidators has tested high for formaldehyde. The company has been accused of selling contaminated laminated flooring made in China. As this inspector said, when in doubt have a test performed, but usually the smell is obvious when the product is new. Common sense should prevail for the consumers and inspectors, but when in doubt, test.

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Association of Realtors® 2015 Honor Society: At the same meeting, several Realtors® from our Association were presented with Florida Realtors® Honor Society pins. Local Association President Eric Pfeifer reminded members that only 20 of our 291 Sanibel/Captiva Realtor® members achieved local Honor Society status for their work in 2014, so to have several members also achieve state recognition is huge.  He then prefaced announcing that this is my 16th-year in Florida’s state Honor Society, by saying SanibelSusan is an old-timer. He can expect pay-back for that. Others in attendance and also receiving that state recognition are shown in the photo below: Jim Hall, yours truly, Eric Pfeifer, Toby Tolp, David Schuldenfrei, and Shane Spring. Congratulations to all!

2015 FL Realtors Honor Society

Favorite Refuge: Vote ‘Ding’

Ding roseate“Ding” Darling counts among the top 20 contestants for Favorite National Wildlife Refuge in USA Today’s Readers Choice Awards and is currently in 2nd place. They need our daily votes. Click here to vote once a day until noon on Monday, March 30, 2015. We know “Ding” Darling is the best, help them let the whole country know!

The Families Have Voted: These Are Their Favorite Destinations

Many locals have remarked this year that “since the islands keep making those lists, more people have come, and that’s why the traffic is so bad in-season.” If that’s the case, here’s yet another one. I saw the below article posted by Yahoo’s Travel Editor on-line yesterday.

“Sanibel, Fla., with its abundant seashells, was named the top overall family attraction. (Photo below by: Thinkstock)

Photo Thinkstock beach

“If you’re thinking of a family trip and wondering where in the U.S others are taking the kids these days, one survey suggests they favor an itinerary like this: picking up seashells on a small Florida island, observing animals in a rain forest, and of course, eating at the Cheesecake Factory.

FamilyFun magazine just announced its travel awards, the result of polling 2,000 American families to rate their favorite destinations across five categories. The top overall winner was Sanibel, Fla., an island town with ample white beaches and seashells, and the power to chill out even the most high-strung parents and kids. The magazine reports one Texas mom as saying, “It’s just a relaxing place that lets kids be kids.”

Also ranking in the top three for favorite tourist towns were Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Savannah, Ga….”

50th Anniversary of Island Water Association

island waterIf you have not taken a tour of the Island Water Association facility on San-Cap Road, be sure and add it to your “do list”. SanibelSusan has toured it several times and always found the whole process of producing island water to be fascinating and the facility to be amazingly clean! Here is some info from the “IWA Pipeline” Spring 2015 edition:

“This year marks 50 years of The Island Water Association providing fresh drinking water to its members. IWA was incorporated on January 19, 1965, as a not-for-profit association (501(c)4) whose purpose was “To construct, maintain, and operate a water system for the supplying of water for domestic, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and other purposes to its members….”  Its founders and first Board of Directors were John Kontinos, E. G. Konrad, C. Smith Kauffman, Francis Bailey, and Paul Stahlin.

“IWA’s first franchise agreement was granted by Lee County in July of 1965. Our first water supply came from the Pine Island Water Treatment Plant via an 8” subaqueous pipe laid across the bay from St. James City to the end of Dixie Beach Rd.  The pipe and all valving are still in place, but leaks in the pipe prevent its use. Our last gallon of usable water from Pine Island was obtained in 1983.

“By 1972, IWA realized it needed its own supply of water, as the 8” line from Pine Island was becoming insufficient to meet demand, and the price of bulk water was becoming prohibitive. An Electro-Dialysis plant was completed in 1973, drawing well water from the Hawthorn aquifer. It was able to produce around 1MBD of water, which served the population throughout the 1970’s. In the late ‘70’s, it was obvious the ED plant would not keep up with current population growth, so a reverse osmosis plant was commissioned on the present day site of IWA. It opened in 1980, originally producing about 1MGD, adding to the ED plant production. When the RO Plant was up to full production by 1992, the ED plant was shut down forever. The RO Plant is now capable of producing around 5.9MGD, although current demand is around 3.3MGD. It draws its feed water from 14 active production wells.”

Island Water Meter Access

Island Water logoFollowing up on the article above, here is a real-estate related article from the same IWA newsletter.

“When a new home is built on Sanibel or Captiva, or a water meter is upgraded due to a home remodel, the Island Water member must sign a Water Users Agreement. Item C.6 of the agreement states: “The Member shall keep an area clear and accessible for 2 feet on all sides of the water meter and backflow prevention device.” Before we changed all of our meters to radio read meters, Scott, our meter reader, had to hand read every meter, and often had to trim overgrown vegetation to access the meter. With the new remote read meters, inaccessible meter boxes and backflow devices have now become a problem for our Distribution Technicians when there is an issue that demands access to the meter or backflow device, such as high usage or a leak. Also, as a courtesy to our members, our technicians test the backflow devices on a semi-annual basis. We are the first to admit that we are not landscape experts, so we would prefer the homeowner maintain the 2’ radius surrounding the meter and backflow device. In addition, please make sure we have a clear path 3’ wide and 7’ tall to the meter and backflow device. Thanks!”

Is That Closet Worth More Than a Prime Location? Apparently Yes!

realtor logoSometimes the articles posted in real estate trade journals are not a fit for our island resort community, so it was with interest that I saw the above headline in an article in the March on-line REALTOR® Magazine. Of course location remains the most, if not one of the most, important considerations in Sanibel and Captiva real estate. Here, it is all about, location, location, location.

The rest of the article had some valid points, however. Island buyers are looking for these things too, just perhaps not as a compromise to location:

“So what features are so important that they are willing to make such big sacrifices as the location of the home? Here are the top items that home owners said they’d be willing to make sacrifices on location in order to have:

  • Move-in ready home: 64%
  • At least one bathtub in a home: 54%
  • More space than their current residence: 51%
  • His and her closets: 23%
  • Spa-like master bedroom: 23%
  • Large eat-in kitchen area: 23%
  • Kitchen island: 22%

“In addition to the more common home options, we’re starting to see regional trends emerging among homebuyer preferences,” says Ryan Marshall, executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing and sales for PulteGroup. “From outdoor kitchens in Florida, to spice kitchens in California, shoppers are increasingly discerning when it comes to home features that could be the deciding factor in their next move.”

Other popular regional trends the survey identified were accordion-style glass doors in the Southwest; multi-generation floor plans and screened-in porches in the Southeast; balconies off the kitchen and rooftop terraces in the Northeast; and “Jack n’ Jill” bedrooms and coffee bars in the Midwest.

“Overall, the most important areas to home buyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29%), bedroom (22%), and living room (18%).”

Free Homeowners’ Seminar – Insurance Panel

SanCapAssnLogoThe Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® is sponsoring a free seminar at The Community House on Wednesday, March 25, from 10 to 11:45 am. Information will be provided by a panel of Association Affiliate Members who work in the insurance field. Enjoy coffee at the “meet and greet” from 10-10:15, followed by the seminar from 10:30-11:45. Join these seasoned insurance professionals for updates and answers to important questions and news on properly insuring your home and valuables. Featured speakers are: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, LLC; Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Company Insurance; Angela Roehl with Rosier Insurance; and Dawn Zettler with Insurance and Risk Management Services.

Sanibel – New Residents’ Reception

Sanibelcityseal logoHosted by Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and City Councilmembers Mick Denham, Chauncey Goss, Marty Harrity, and Jim Jennings, new residents of the island (within the past 24 months) are invited to attend a New Residents’ Reception at City Hall on Thursday, April 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Please RSVP by April 3 to or 239-472-3700.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 13-20 



3 new listings: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $649,946; Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 $729K; Seascape #201 3/3 $1.849M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $365K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $699K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $799K, Compass Point #111 2/2 now $1.95M, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 now $1.745M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 listed for $195K, Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed for $394K, Sanibel Siesta #701 2/2 listed for $525K, Beachcomber #C102 2/2 listed for $1.575M, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 listed for $2.499M.

7 closed sales: Sundial #F406 1/1 $329K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 $490K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $635K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 $800K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $920K, Gulfside Place #125 2/2 $1.17M, Yacht Haven #1 3/2 $1.5M.


4 new listings: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $649.9K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $749K, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.995M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 $4.195M.

10 price changes: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $419K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $580K, 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 now $599K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $619K, $603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $670K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 now $699K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $775K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $799.5K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $815K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.895M.

8 new sales: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed $440K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $689K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 listed for $695K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 listed for $850K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed for $989K, 4308 West gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.879M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed for $2.4M.

9 closed sales: 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family $380K, 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $424K, 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $455K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 $550K, 218 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $750K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 $1.195M, 561 Lighthouse Way 5/4 $1.75M.


3 new listings: 915 Main St $199K, 2133 Starfish Ln $399K, 2479 Harbour Ln $599K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1299 Par View Dr listed for $229K, 6411 Pine Ave listed for $339,999, 2494 Blind Pass Ct listed for $649K.

1 closed sale: 2403 Blue Crab Ct $470K.



No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 listed for $322K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

3 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 $440K, Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $583.5K, Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 $837.5K.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.63M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.995M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $3.75M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $4M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16915 Captiva Dr $1.195M.

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

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your weekend is sunny too.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan




Woohoo, Real Estate is Moving on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s the end of another terrific week on Sanibel, with bright blue skies and summer-like temperatures. The island again is reporting to be at full occupancy, including a few spring breakers here with families. The bike paths and beaches are busy, the Sanibel Thriller continues to draw the dolphin followers, the fishermen are reporting great catches, and waits are the norm at local restaurants. Multiple island day-time and evening events continue keeping everyone busy too.


Most of us in the real estate business are crowing that is this is the busiest winter ever, with many of us working not quite 24/7, but certainly 10-14/7. Be sure to check out the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days after a few news items below.

SanibelSusan Realty Sponsors BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt

Photo Scavenger HuntMark your calendars for the BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, April 7. SanibelSusan Realty again this year is sponsoring, with the proceeds to benefit BIG ARTS scholarship programs.

BIG Arts logoThis fun-filled event demonstrates what happens when a scavenger hunt meets the digital age. Grab your camera and some teammates to join in the adventure where you will walk, bike, or drive on your quest to photograph your own interpretations of the clues. Creativity is encouraged!

3 p.m. Pick up clues & map at BIG ARTS Center.

5 p.m. Return to BIG ARTS for a gourmet boxed dinner.

6 p.m. Dessert reception & video showcase of the day’s digital photographs, with awards ceremony.

Tickets are $45 for the full event or $8 for the reception only. Teams should have 2-4 members. Tickets available at the BIG ARTS Marks Box Office or for more info call 239-395-0900.

20 Housing Markets That Are Heating Up

Realtor_comlogoHere’s some good news just in time for spring around the country (posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday.)

“Just in time for spring selling season to start, sellers are finally starting to put their homes on the market, upping the selections for buyers, according to the latest analysis from®. Higher inventories and buyer demand are expected to boost closings this month, according to®. “The biggest macro trend is that we’re finally seeing inventory grow,” says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. “This is a very important trend for many reasons – in particular, because it will help keep prices at a more moderate level down the road.”

“Affordability had become a chief concern recently in the housing market. So what’s changed and why are more sellers putting their homes on the market? Smoke says home owners are being encouraged by the current higher prices. But Smoke says those will level out as supply rises to meet demand.

“According to®’s February data, 20 markets are already showing a big upswing based on the ratio of listing views at® to the number of listings for-sale. Those 20 markets are:

  1. Waco, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  3. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
  6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  7. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  8. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, Calif.
  9. Charleston, W.Va.
  10. San Luis Obispo et al, Calif.
  11. Columbus, Ohio
  12. Boulder, Colo.
  13. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.
  14. Hartford-West Hartford et al, Conn.
  15. Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
  16. San Francisco-Oakland et al, Calif.
  17. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
  18. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
  19. Toledo, Ohio
  20. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.”

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts

Community-Chorus-in-concertBIG Arts logoSanibelSusan’s March blog would not be complete without a plug for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Most readers know that I stay sane “in season” with the Tuesday nite diversion of chorus rehearsals. Having grown from just a handful of singers in the early 90’s, the chorus is now 80+singers strong. Though we also will be performing the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Red Sox/Minnesota Twins last spring training game on April 1, our spring concert essentially ends the year for us, or at least until October rolls around again.

Tickets went on sale last week and already are going fast for the spring concert which this year again will be performed two nights to fill the demand. Get advance tickets at BIG ARTS Box Office at 900 Dunlop Road. Performances are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 26.

Guaranteed to give you a few smiles and keep you humming for days, this year we are performing a variety of doo-wop tunes, a medley of “Carousel” show song, famous music from Strauss operetta “Die Fledermaus”, and my favorite, a patriotic number called “Song for the Unsung Hero”.

Sanibel Traffic

sanibel trafficIt seems that every island discussion this week has some mention of the traffic. Rental organizations are hearing complaints from tenants, Realtors® are hearing protests from prospective buyers, restaurants advise patrons are missing their reservation times, and the general public acknowledges that it takes longer and without reliability these days to get from one end of the island to the other.

Some say it is because the island is at 100% capacity. Some say it is because of the “day-trippers”. Others are convinced that though it’s a short-term problem (just a few months out of each year), it is one that has been neglected or not solved.

So, it was with interest that I read the article in the “Island Sun” today advising that the topic came up at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Several members voiced support for a traffic study being conducted by local Metropolitan Planning Organization offering to lend their assistance in the execution of that investigation.

Here’s hoping that the subject does not get pushed to the back burner once island traffic gets back to “normal” after season, because the problem is bound to resurface again next winter when I bet there is even more traffic thanks to the extended bad weather up north this year. The accommodations businesses are reporting that their bookings for 2016 are already “off the charts”.

Sanibel and Captiva “may be enjoying too much of a good thing”, said one report commenter. That may be true, but there certainly are solutions to making the roadways safer and delay-free. It is good news to hear that Sanibel again is pro-active.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 6-13 



2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $497K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-4 2/2.5 $699K.

5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $237.9K, Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $369K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $459.5K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 now $1.049M, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $1.175M.

9 new sales: Colonnades #44 1/1 listed for $189.9K, Colonnades #41 1/1 listed for $194.5K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 listed for $749K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 listed for $940K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 listed for $1.195M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M, Seascape #104 3/3 listed for $2.195M (our sale), Somerset #B101 3/2.5 listed for $2.2M (our listing).

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

3 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #118 1/1 $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.25M, West Shore #903 3/3 $1.7M.


11 new listings: 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $440K, 5089 SanCap Rd 3/2 $489.9 (short sale), 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 $565K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $639K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 $649K, 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $789.9K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 3/2 $865K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $975K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $989K, 5773 SanCap Rd 2/2 $1.159M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.4M.

10 price changes: 838 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $399K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $429K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $479K, 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 now $649K, 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $849K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 now $899K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $949K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $949K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $999.9K, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.129M.

10 new sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $329K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed for $385K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $459K, 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 listed for $875K, 5880 SanCap Rd 3/2 listed for $889K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed for $945K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex listed for $998.5K, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.598M.

7 closed sales: 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $405K (short sale), 457 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $475K, 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $525K, 598 Boulder Dr 3/2 $533K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/2.5 $667K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $925K.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $259.9K, 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct now $347K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct now $649K, 6217 Starling Way now $1.379M.

2 new sales: 1301 Par View Dr listed for $219,555; 1311 Par View Dr listed for $259.9K.

1 closed sale: 1316 Par View Dr $320K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1,995,555.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 listed for $674.9K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #903 2/2 $60K


No new listings.

3 price changes: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.695M, 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $3.19M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.995M.

2 new sales: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed for $2.395M, 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 listed for $3.985M.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.75M.

No price changes, new listings, or price changes.

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


Until next Friday, happy weekend from SanibelSusan. Though I will likely be showing real estate all weekend, I bet teammate Dave is taking a few photos with his new camera lens. Here’s one he took earlier and shared with us in the office.


Read Why SanibelSusan’s Friday Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate Blog is Late

SanibelBeachAnother Friday has arrived and SanibelSusan is not going to dwell on the additional heavy traffic on Periwinkle Way from the Shell Fair which ends tomorrow. To put a positive spin on it, for those properties that we don’t already open for showings, my team and I are offering delivery service to Realtors® needing keys or fliers.

This week, island weather likely again contributed to the many visitors enjoying the 70- and 80-degree temperatures, sunny days, blue skies, and also the gorgeous moon-glow skies at night. A favorite photos from island photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography is above. The beach looked just like this week, including this afternoon.

Although not many sales were announced at the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, many were posted in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Several price reductions were reported too, common for the end of February with just a few weeks left of “high season”.

At SanibelSusan Realty, we are showing property, holding open houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts like crazy! We love it and hopefully will have some new sales to add the Multiple Listing Activity next week. That is why SanibelSusan’s blog is a few hours late.

Meanwhile, the island listing/sales activity over the past seven days follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Dark Skies Ordinance Passes Unanimously

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported today in the “Island Sun”: This week, Sanibel City Council approved the revised Dark Skies Ordinance, ending 13 months of revisions, adjustments and “fine tuning” by the planning commission, city staff, and public input. The ordinance was established to protect the natural beauty of the island’s night skies as well as its habitat for a variety of animals, particularly sea turtles during nesting season. Beach-front properties and new construction already are required to be compliant. Non-beachfront properties have until January 1, 2018. Read the ordinance, its requirements and view a video about it at

Why Canada’s Snowbirds Are Under U.S. Scrutiny

TRC LOGORSPS LogoIsland sellers often ask their Realtors® if they do much business with out-of-country buyers. Thankfully SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certified) and RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) designations often result in referral business that comes from over the border or across the pond.

For those readers wondering about the implications of Canadian residents spending their winters in Florida, here is an article that was posted in the February RSPS Newsletter and published earlier in “Reuters” on February 10.

“Canadians who normally head south of their border for warmer weather are keeping closer track of their time in the United States because if they stay too long, they could lose their Canadian health benefits and might owe U.S. income tax.

“Just last year, the two countries implemented an agreement to scan passports and share the information, meaning that, unlike in past years, America’s tax authorities now know exactly how long snowbirds are spending in warmer climes like Florida, California and Arizona.

“And that has many worried Canadians monitoring their stay on American soil. People like 74-year-old former TV producer Richard Simpson, who stays in Fort Myers, Florida, from the end of October through April, then heads back to Toronto. “People have this fear in the back of their heads about playing it too loose, and spending too much time down here,” he said. “Whenever there’s a ‘Canada Night’ gathering, it’s the No.1 topic of conversation.”

“The magic number is 182 days in a single year. More than that, and Canadians risk being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. If Canadians overstay their welcome, they risk creating a U.S. claim on their worldwide income, getting barred from the country for five years and losing prized health care, according to Dale Walters, the Phoenix-based chief executive officer of KeatsConnelly, a financial planning firm that specializes in cross-border issues.

“Even less than 182 days, though, and they still might meet what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service calls its “substantial presence” test. It is a complicated formula, but if snowbirds spend more than roughly 120 days per year in the United States over a three-year period, the IRS starts getting interested in them.

“”The technology has finally gotten to the point where they can track border crossings easily,” said Walters. “Snowbirds are very aware of this. Some of them have become pretty paranoid about it.”

“But the lure of a warmer climate can be very powerful indeed. Canadians purchased U.S. properties worth $13.8 billion in the 12 months leading up to March 2014, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. That makes for 15% of all international sales. Canadians’ favorite spots, perhaps not surprisingly: Florida, Arizona and California, making for almost three-quarters of all their purchases.

“More than 500,000 Canadians own real estate in Florida alone, according to BMO Financial Group Swhose Annual Snowbird Outlook – issued last October – predicts continued gains for snowbird homeowners.

“The pace of those home purchases will likely slow, thanks to a falling Canadian dollar that has seen the loonie sink to around 80 U.S. cents. For those who have already purchased in the United States, the combination of rising real-estate prices and a U.S. dollar-denominated asset has proved to be a clever hedge indeed. “For Canadians who bought a couple of years ago, they have already gained 20% on the rising U.S. dollar alone,” says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “At the same time, home prices in many areas also rose double digits. So it was an excellent time to buy.”

“Compared to record-high Canadian real estate in hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver, housing in the American sunbelt is still attractively priced, the BMO report notes.

“So how can snowbirds avoid running afoul of the authorities, and not jeopardize their Canadian status or attract the scrutiny of the IRS? Many have been tweaking their calendars already, says KeatsConnelly’s Walters. While typical snowbirds used to return to Canada in April, he says, many have now shifted earlier to March.

Some, like Simpson, throw some cruising into the mix to pad their schedules. Since a March or April return to Canada can still be on the chilly side, Simpson sometimes leaves Florida to keep under the 182-day limit, but then takes an international cruise until things warm up.

“Also, know the letter of the law. Even if snowbirds meet the IRS’ “substantial presence” test, for instance, they can still fill out the agency’s Form 8840. It asserts closer connections to Canada, and should stave off any potential problems.

“Finally, when crossing the border, Walters advises that snowbirds come equipped with a “border kit” that proves Canadian residency in multiple ways – things like utility bills and property-tax statements. As for Richard Simpson, he does not regret leaving his homeland behind, at least for the coldest parts of the year. “Whenever I see the Canadian weather on TV, I think, ‘Thank God I’m here in Florida, and thank God I’m wearing shorts.'””

McMansions Remain a Hot Buy

realtor logoRealtor®Mag posted this article late last week on its “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Existing-home sales mostly fell flat in January, but a closer look at the data shows one segment of the market is seeing a lot of activity. McMansions – those traditionally large homes in the $750,000 to $1 million range – saw a sales growth rate of 13% in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That is the fastest growth rate of any other home price range.

“NAR’s latest housing reports:Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015 and Tight Supplies Put Home Prices on the Move. “It’s a reflection of the U.S. economy where the upper end has done much better in this recovery in terms of income,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told MarketWatch.

“As the stock market hits new highs, the luxury buyer is continuing to be a strong player in the housing market this year. Last year, the million-dollar plus segment had the strongest growth. “Now, it’s the next level that is beginning to pick up,” Yun says.

“As for more traditional buyers, they may be locked in to their current home. Home owners who snagged low interest rates may be reluctant to trade up or move on unless job or family changes press them to, Yun notes. That’s how he explains why the strengthening job market as well as rent growth is not currently leading to a stronger housing market than expected. “People may be delaying two years, four years before returning to normal moving patterns,” Yun says.”

Nearly 80% of Housing Markets Are Stabilizing

FreddieMacLogo_3Here is some more good news, also from the last Thursday “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are now showing an improving three-month trend in housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index. What’s more, 40 of the 50 major metros Freddie Mac tracks are also showing a three-month improving trend.

“Yet, Freddie Mac’s national MiMi value stands at 74.9, which still indicates a weak housing market overall. The all-time MiMi high was 121.7, recorded in April 2006; its lowest point was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest point. Since its low in 2010, the housing market has rebounded 31%.

Freddie Mac’s MiMi index monitors the stability of the nation’s housing market by assessing each single-family housing market relative to its long-term stable range. It takes into account such data as home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgage payments, and the employment market.

Overall, “housing markets are getting back on track,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80% of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. … Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.””

Sanibel Island Survival Camps for Teens

Sanibel Sea schoolAnother article in the “Island Sun” today caught my eye. Makes me wish to be a teenager again.

This summer Sanibel Sea School is offering three weeks of survival camp for teens (13- to 18-year olds) yearning to embark on an adventure. Can they endure a night on the island with only a fishing net, a coconut, and a paddleboard? Sound like fun?

Each week the group will venture into the lesser-known places on Sanibel for a week of exploration. Attendees will learn the basics of paddle-boarding, and then learn survival skills that will be as useful in a city as on a desert island. Tire changing races, fire starting contests, and shelter-building competitions are all part of the plan, along with basic first aid and figuring out how to find food and water in the wilderness. One night, they will paddle out to camp on Picnic Island and put their new skills to the test, where conditions will be primitive, bugs will be many, and memories should be everlasting. Each week will be different so teens can attend just one or sign up for the series. The sessions are June 22-28, June 29-July 3, July 13-17. Register on-line at

Sanibel-Captiva Art League Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleProperty owners often ask us when the “clothesline show” will be this year.

That event is an excellent time to purchase island art from San-Cap Art League Members. I just heard that this year, the sale will be Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House (across the street from SanibelSquare and SanibelSusan Realty).

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 27-Mar 6 



4 new listings: Colonnades #41 1/1 $194.5K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $535K, Sundial #H303 2/2 $589K, Seascape #301 3/3 $1.315M.

3 price changes: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $269K, Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 now $449K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $725K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed for $490K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 listed for $549.9K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 listed for $825K, Atrium #204 2/2 listed for $1.295M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 $310K, Lighthouse Point #113 2/2 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $630K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $580K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #307 3/2 $880K.


8 new listings: 5131 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 $535K, 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 $535K, 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 $1.1M, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $1.15M, 1220 Morningside Place 5/5 multi-family $1.198M, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.598M, 3675 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $4.4M.

9 price changes: 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $598.5K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $629.9K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $689K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $815K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 now $850K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $945K.

10 new sales: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $279K, 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $399K, 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family listed for $449K, 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $510K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 listed for $739K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 listed for $1.149M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.5M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M.

10 closed sales: 938 Palm St 3/2 $390K, 1717 Windward Way 3/2 $635K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 $745K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 4/3 $875K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $890K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $970K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.4M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.9M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.


No new listings.

5 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $214,555; 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $245K; 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed for $429K.

1 closed sale: 2379 Wulfert Rd $300K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $629K.

1 new sale: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 listed for $650K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.69M.

4 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.099M,16251 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $3.595M, 15891 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $3.649M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.9M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16950 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

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


Thinking of island real estate? Contact a member of The SanibelSusan Team, we are working close to 24/7 this time of the year (not really, but at least 12/7!

‘Til next Friday, SanibelSusan

Sharing Roadways, Eating Spaghetti, & Selling Real Estate on Sanibel/Captiva Islands

It’s been a week of warm temperatures, but a few cloudy/foggy/drizzly days on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Don’t usually have many of those in the winter. The overcast days continue to cause traffic delays when visitors turn to retail therapy and restaurant dining, instead of enjoying the great outdoors. The SanibelSusan Team like challenges, so it has been an interesting week scheduling showings, opening properties for viewings, and being on time for appointments.

Gulf-front properties have been exceptionally fun to show as there actually has been some serious wave action this week – Sanibel surf.

SanibelSurf Feb 2015

There has been another flurry of real estate activity this week too. It is described more fully in the weekly report of the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service action below. We have had showings, open houses, been out showing, written offers, received offers, announced sales, and also heard about a few disappointed prospective buyers because they didn’t make their showing arrangements before their travel plans or because they were too late in making offers.

It’s “season” with hot properties getting activity. You know we are full service when we show our listings at night using a flashlight. That was SanibelSusan’s role Wednesday night! Wrote an offer though, so it was productive!

Upcoming Sanibel/Captiva Events

It’s again that time of the year when multiple events are happening often simultaneously. Lots of choices if you are looking for social events. Here are a few favorites coming up:

kiwanis logoAnnual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner – February 28, tomorrow night, 4 to 8 p.m., followed by after party and auction at the Sanibel Community House, proceeds to benefit scholarships & local youth programs. It’s a great evening of island-style camaraderie, CU there!

Shell show photo78th Annual Sanibel Shell Show & Festival – March 5, 6, & 7, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Community House (adjacent to SanibelSusan Realty).

Captiva ABC Campaign Dinner & Auction – March 5, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. at Captiva Civic Center. Limited seating, call 239-472-2111 for more info.

BIG Arts logoBIG ARTS Concert Band Spring Concert – March 6, Friday, at 7 p.m. in Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS. Tickets at the Marks Box Office, 900 Dunlop Rd.

The Hottest Winter Home Markets

Since our winter real estate market is busy too, it was with interest that The SanibelSusan Team read the below article posted on-line at “Realtor®Mag” on Tuesday: logos“While most of the United States is currently under a deep freeze, real estate markets in many cities across the country are heating up, according to the recent Hotness Index compiled by®. Not surprisingly, warm locations continue to be hot spots for winter buyers. Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Raleigh, and San Diego rank highest on the Hotness Index, and see busy Spring level home-buying activity earlier than other cities across the country.

“To compile the Hotness Index rankings, economists from® looked at 2014 monthly search volume on®, adjusted for population, and combined climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The correlation between warmer metropolitan areas and more January searches makes sense, as it’s easier to get out and go house hunting in these cities,” said Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for®. “In these markets, looking for a home in November or January makes as much sense as August.”

“Winter home-buying activity isn’t just booming in cities with balmy climates. Chicago is a surprisingly hot real estate market in the winter months, according to the Hottest Index. Despite Chicago’s frigid temperatures, their prime buying season actually begins in January and home showings during snowstorms are the norm.

Some suggest that what’s driving this push towards an earlier Spring buying season is the lack of inventory in many metropolitan areas. “Prices are appreciating and homes are selling more quickly,” Smoke said. “These are the criteria that we use to define a healthy market. When inventory is growing as well, the hot market can keep its momentum, which benefits both sellers and buyers.””

If this hotness index was based on 2014 data, SanibelSusan can hardly wait to see the data for 2015. After the brutal weather this year, more buyers should be flocking to the sunshine state. It is a little early in the year to be comparing statistics, but already on Sanibel in 2015, 20 condos have sold/closed, compared to just 11 in 2014. That’s healthy improvement. Now if we could only get into those units that are heavily booked, we could see more activity. Those sales likely will not occur until spring when units become easily viewable again. It’s going to be a good year!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 20-27 



3 new listings: Sundial #F306 1/1 $379K, Sundial #P404 2/2 $899K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.25M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $376.5K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 now $825K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 now $864.9K, Kimball Lodge #306 2/2 now $1.139M.

Sandalfoot from beach

4 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 listed for $499K, Sandalfoot #5C1 2/2 listed for $699K (our listing), Sundial #E408 2/2 listed for $925K, Gulfside Place #318 2/2 listed for $1.25M (our sale).

Gulfside Place

2 closed sales: Sundial #J203 1/1 $385K, Kinzie Island #A 4/3.5 $2.3M.


5 new listings: 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $690K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 $695K, 4458 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $829K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 $1.149M, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.189M.

11 price changes: 4109 SanCap Rd 2/1 now $289K, 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 now $299K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $565K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $585K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $595K (short sale), 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.9K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $669.9K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $749K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 now $749.9K, 547 N Yachstman Dr 4/3 now $935K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.98M.

10 new sales: 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $495K (short sale), 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 listed for $699.95K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed for $769K, 218 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed for $829K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.05M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.2945M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M, 4204 Dingman Dr 5/4.5 listed for $1.995M, 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed for $2.299M.

10 closed sales: 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 $375K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $450K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $555K, 548 Chert Ct 3/2 $562K, 1477 Albatross Rd 4/3 $565K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $679K, 251 Daniel Dr 3/2 $768K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 $950K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.24735M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $1.7M (short sale).


1 new listing: 497 Sea Oats Dr $539K.

4 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $244.9K; 6411 Pine Ave now $339,999; 6519 Pine Ave now $995K; 6505 Pine Ave now $995K.

3 new sales: 2380 Wulfert Rd listed for $199K, 1316 Par View Dr listed for $320K, 4334 West Gulf Dr listed for $899K.

2 closed sales: Beverly Ln $170K, 6486 Pine Ave $359.9K.



1 new listing: Marina Villas #707 2/2 $695K.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 now $589,974.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1601 2/2 listed for $1.259M, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 listed for $1.865M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Bay Villas #C 3/3.5 $2.2M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $3.995M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.725M.

1 new sale: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 listed for $2.375M.

1 closed sale: 11520 Laika Ln 2/2 $2.45M.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd $4.5M.

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


(Photo above by our photographer, pal, Jim Anderson with JMA Photography.)

Until next Friday, warm weekend wishes to all,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Cold Snap, But Still Happy Visitors on Sanibel/Captiva Islands


It is a crisp but sunny Friday on Sanibel. With some record cold temperatures in Southwest Florida last night, islanders are happily enjoying a warm-up to the low 60’s today. It is expected to be back to the mid-70’s tomorrow and through the weekend.

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty

SANSLogoThere was good sales activity on both Sanibel and Captiva over the last few days, we had one listing go under contract and another sale close, but our requests for showings are down from last weekend, mostly because there are long-term tenants in many of the properties we have listed.

Near-beach home sales continue to dominate the market as baby boomers continue to transition from income-producing condos to more residential properties.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last week follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel’s Vegetation Standards Protect Homeowners

Sanibelcityseal logoGood reminders from the City – good for sharing – came with recent quarterly sewer bills. Below is the one titled “Sanibel’s Vegetation Standards Protect Homeowners”:

“For decades, Sanibel residents have sought to maintain the island’s sanctuary character by protecting our native environment. To help in this effort the City has adopted vegetation standards for homeowners and businesses. These include:

  • A requirement that at least 75% of all vegetation (trees, shrubs, and ground cover) on a property be native plants; up to 25% may be non-invasive, exotic species.
  • Property must be kept clear of 8 specific invasive exotic plants such as Brazilian pepper.
  • Pruning of native plants is limited to 25% of the total leaf area in any one year.
  • The type and use of fertilizer is carefully regulated to protect our water. This includes a ban on fertilizer use during the summer rainy season.
  • A permit is always required to trim mangroves, to trim in the beach zone (dune), and to move or remove any native protected plant.
  • All landscape contractors or persons hired to work on landscape must have a Sanibel Vegetation Competency Card. All professional fertilizer applicants must also be certified by the City.

“Native plants survive and thrive in our highly variable weather conditions (summer heat and rain and winter droughts), alkaline soil and proximity to salt water. They require little or no supplemental irrigation, do not need fertilizer and provide habitat for native wildlife.

“The Natural Resources Department section of the City’s website,, offers information and photos of native plants, a listing of licensed contractors, Sanibel’s vegetation standards and codes, the Environmental reference Handbook prepared by the City’s Vegetation Committee, and much more. The Vegetation Committee also offers free native plant tours of the grounds at City Hall at 10 a.m. on the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Saturday of the month from November to April. Additional information is available by contacting the Sanibel Natural Resources Department at (239) 472-3700. “

Move Inc. Ready to Take on Zillow-Trulia logosWednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” had the latest on the Zillow-Trulia merger. It’s going to be an interesting year:

“The real estate portal space is heating up with Zillow and Trulia finalizing their merger Tuesday. The number of major competitors serving this market has been reduced to two big titans: Move Inc., which operates®, and Zillow-Trulia.

“Following the Zillow-Trulia announcement, Move released a statement saying, “2015 will mark Zillow’s year of the merge and®’s year of the surge.”

“In an e-mail yesterday to Move employees, CEO Ryan O’Hara elaborated. “My expectation is that the two of us will wage a spirited battle for the hearts and minds of consumers and the industry, and we will push each other to be better performers – more focused on the customer, quicker to innovate, more committed to adding value at every stage of the real estate cycle. In this way, everyone wins.”

“Zillow finalized its acquisition of Trulia Inc. for $2.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction Tuesday. The acquisition forms Zillow Group Inc., which also houses New York-based StreetEasy and rental search brand HotPads. The company faces increased competition now that®’s operator has the force of News Corp behind it. This past November the global media company, which operates real estate portals internationally and owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s completed its acquisition of Move Inc., tying its name to the REALTOR® brand.

““There is no digital replacement for the human touch,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp said during the Real Estate Connect conference in New York in January. “No technology can meet all of someone’s needs. It takes a real person. … We want the shortest distance between the American Dream and a family’s reality to be®.”

“The acquisition has already proved a boon to Move’s traffic. Move Inc.’s web and mobile traffic jumped more than 30%. In January, Move reported an all-time high of 37 million unique visitors to®.

“Move/® is extremely well-positioned to compete and thrive in this environment of industry consolidation and data-driven customers,” O’Hara said in his e-mail to employees. “Competing in business typically involves trying to be better, cheaper, faster or different than your competition. How will we compete?  By continuing to build the best web and mobile experiences for consumers and the best and most valuable tools for brokers and agents, and by providing the market with the most comprehensive, most accurate, and most up-to-date listings in the U.S.  I can also promise you we will quicken the pace of product innovation and apply more marketing muscle to our consumer and industry outreach.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 13-20 



4 new listings: Sundial #I301 1/1 $389K, Sundial #F303 2/2 $495K, Sundial #S404 3/2 $837K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 $1.195M.

10 price changes: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $254.9K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 now $399K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $469K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $475K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $495K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $495K, Sundial #R304 2/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 now $825K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.149M, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 now $2.499M.

4 new sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 listed for $329K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 listed for $424.5K, Donax Villlage #8 2/2 listed for $449K, Seawindd II #2 2/2.5 listed for $685K.

2 closed sales: Seashells #15 2/2 $319.5K, Sandpebble #3C 2/2 $327K.


8 new listings: 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 $524.9K; 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K; 580 Chert Ct 2/2 $580K; 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $779K; 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 $899K; 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $998,995; 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.9M; 4241 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $3.995M.

14 price changes: 702 Donax St 2/2 now $399K; 982 Main St 3/2.5 multi-family now $445K; 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $549K; 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $629K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $699K; 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $729K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $779K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $859K; 1188 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/3 now $925,555; 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M; 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.395M; 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 now $1.495M; 830 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 now $1.645M; 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 now $1.795M.

Front111 new sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $449K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed for $479K (our Seller), 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $529K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $549.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 listed for $649K, 248 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $749K, 8999 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 listed for $775K, 2582 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed for $789K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed for $799K, 1056 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $899K.

6440 Pine4 closed sales: 999 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $585K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.025M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.0875M (our Buyer), 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 $1.92M.


2 new listings: 540 East Lake Dr $197K, 3354 Barra Cir $319K.

1 price change: 6419 Pine Ave now $799K.

4 new sales: 9426 Sage Ct listed for $229,555; 3792 Coquina Dr listed for $329K; 6411 Pine Ave listed for $329,999; 4988 Joewood Dr listed for $459K.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 $2.095M.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 now $645K.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $615K.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #18 4/3 $2.34M.


2 new listings: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.195M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11491 Dickey Ln 4/4 listed for $1.799M, 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 listed for $6.75M.

1 closed sale: 15301 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $1.9625M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd now $2.49M, 15879 Captiva Dr now $2.695M.

No new or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday, here’s a nice flock of roseate spoonbills to keep things cheerful!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


Sanibel Island Real Estate Is Moving, Traffic Not So Much

It is hard to believe that more people are expected to be on the islands next week for the President’s Day holiday. Suffice it to say, that Sanibel is busier now than The SanibelSusan Team ever remembers it and we are trying to “nicely” share with the many vacationers, snowbirds, and owners here enjoying it too.

No one seems to mind that the daily temperatures this week have, for the most part, only been in the mid-60’s. Bikers in their shorts and tee-shirts continue to fly by our office on the bike path, while we locals have rare chances to wear sweaters and jackets. Here are a few photos taken by our client/friend Ellie Hayward and others during some of the recent breezy days when the shelling has been amazing.

SanibelSusan had lunch this week with VIP’s Vacation Rentals Manager, and he said they do not have a single accommodation left that is available between now and Easter. Other companies and accommodations likewise report 100% occupancy. That is great news for the local economy, but tough traveling for us trying to keep showing appointments on schedule.

We also heard this week that the “Sports Illustrated” annual swim suit edition has hit the streets with some of the photos taken on the islands. Do suppose that could bring even more traffic to Southwest Florida?

SCCF 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon

SCCF logoTuesday, we attended SCCF’s 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon which concluded with a terrific presentation by Director Eric Lindblad on current and future conservation plans. This organization does so much for the islands, we should all be strong supporters.

Eric advised that thanks to cooperation with Tarpon Bay Explorers, SCCF in early April will begin construction of a new marine lab on the grounds of Tarpon Bay, facing the water, in the location of the former concession stand.

SCCF work at rehabbing and reconfiguring The Bailey Homestead continues with preliminary plans in-the-works for eventually moving the Native Plant Nursery there. It has already increased usage of the connected paths that now go from the Chamber of Commerce through the Shipley Trail to Pond Apple Park and City Park via the Starr D. Thomas Boardwalk. A colleague recently saw an eagle there. Here’s a link to the trails:

Other Island Happenings

rotary logoThe Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 32nd Arts & Crafts Fair is tomorrow and Sunday at the Community House across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, they expect to have 7,000 attendees.

I’ll be at the office then, hoping they want to buy real estate to go with their other purchases. Here’s a link to the fair website:

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty

SANSLogoNext week again will be busy. We have some Open Houses planned and have a big (over 6,000-piece) bulk mailing going out. It’s our annual inventory lists for owners of all of the property for sale on the islands, plus for comparison, recent sales.

If you would like a copy too, just give us a call (888-603-0603 or 239-472-HOME (4663)) or send us an email (

Below after a few more news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Vacation Home Tax Deductions

taxesTax time is here and though it is best to consult your tax advisor, here is a handy summary that was posted on-line by HouseLogic and reprinted in NAR’s “Real Estate News” on Monday.

“The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

  • If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
  • Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Your expenses are deducted on Schedule E.
  • Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days you rent it and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and allocate them based on how often you used and how often you rented the house.”

Read more about home tax deductions at

‘Domino Effect’ to Set Off 2015 Housing Wave

clear capital logoInteresting concept recently described in the “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to a Clear Capital report of February 2, 2015 titled “Traditional Home Buyers, Make Your Move”:

“Home prices between the top and bottom segments of the housing market are rising, which could unleash a “domino effect” that builds first-time and move-up buyer momentum this year, notes a new real estate report by Clear Capital. But the build-up in traditional home buyers is coming at the cost of declines in the luxury home market.

“”The rate of appreciation for top tier homes is stalling, which is a more direct reflection of waning fair market demand,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “While this is a concerning development, there is a silver lining. The moderating upper tier may give traditional buyers a moment to catch their breath, and entice move-up buyers to enter this segment of the market. The ripple effect of opening up inventory all the way down the price spectrum could provide opportunity and motivation across all segments, including first-time buyers, to enter the marketplace.”

“The lower and middle-range ends of the housing market is stabilizing, allowing traditional home buyers to re-emerge. “The next phase of the housing recovery is dependent on healthy demand from this segment,” Villacorta says.

“The lower-end of the housing market was once driven mostly by investor activity, but now doors are opening for first-time home buyers to break in.  Also, as the number of underwater mortgages steadily decreases, home owners in the mid-tier of the home pricing segment can finally trade up to a larger, more expensive home.

Lower-end properties have been outpacing price growth in the luxury market, Clear Capital reports. The low-tier has posted double-digit gains year-over-year of 10.2%, compared to the top tier, which saw the lowest price growth rate among the three tiers, at 3.6% year-over-year.

““This divide between a healthy low tier and stalling top tier could kick-off a domino effect,” Clear Capital notes in its report. “Stalling prices in the top tier of the market could create the perception of a good deal. This instills confidence in mid-tier home owners, motivating them to move-up to the top tier. In turn, this opens up more opportunity for low tier home owners to move-up to the mid-tier. … This domino effect could be the catalyst for balanced demand across all sectors of the market.

“The Midwest is leading the pack, according to Clear Capital. The Midwest posted double-digit gains in the low-tier segment at 13.6 percent, while seeing its top-tier of the market fall 3.3% with prices. The Midwest is the only region currently seeing price appreciation in the low and mid tiers, growing above 1%. As such, Clear Capital economists are predicting the Midwest to be the first region in U.S. to realize full buyer momentum among first-time and move-up buyers, due to its moderating top tier.”

“Bleu Rendezvous” Coming to Sanibel

Bue windowsMany islanders call it a “road trip” when we venture off island for dinner. A favorite spot for that since discovering it a few years ago is Blue Windows French Bistro in South Fort Myers which is a small classic French restaurant. Though tiny and only visited occasionally, I always see other islanders there enjoying it too, so it is great news that Christian and Mari Vivet are planning to open a second restaurant, Bleu Rendezvous, on Sanibel in May. It will be in the space of the former Sangria Grill at 2430 Periwinkle Way just up the street from our office.

According to a posting in the “News-Press” this week, “The Vivets, who usually close Blue Windows during the summer, plan to keep both restaurants open throughout this year. Christian hinted they might have other plans for the south Fort Myers store, but said it was too early to disclose anything. As for Blue Rendezvous’ menu, fans of Blue Windows won’t be disappointed. “We’re taking exactly what we’re doing here and doing the exact same thing there, even the same wine list at this point,” Christian said. “It’s worked for us so well, we didn’t see any reason to change it.”

“Blue Windows serves dinner Monday to Saturday at 15250 S. Tamiami Trail, south Fort Myers. Call 849-0622 or visit for more info.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 6-13 



6 new listings: Sundial #C306 1/1 $329K, Sundial #D312 1/1 $349K, Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 $670K, Sundial #F201 2/2 $829K, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.595M.

6 price changes: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 now $239.9K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 now $424.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $490K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 now $499.9K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 now $798K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 now $825K.

3 new sales: Seashells #15 2/2 listed for $324.9K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 listed for $525K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 listed for $940K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 $439K, Sand Pointe #235 2/2 $665K, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 $783K, Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2.0625M.


7 new listings: 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 $699K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $769K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $ 875K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/2 $979K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $1.1M, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.149M.

7 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $329K, 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $530K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $725K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $799K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A 3/3 now $939K, 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 now $2.249M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.359M.

13 new sales: 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $629K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed for $715K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $719.9K, 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed for $775K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed for $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $89.5K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $939K, 857 Birdie View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $995K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed for $999.9K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed for $1.295M, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 listed for $1.898M.

2 closed sales: 490 Christine Rd 2/2 $534K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1.058M.


No new listings.

7 price changes: 0 Bowmans Beach Rd now $125K, 9239 Dimmick Dr now $139K, 9277 Belding Dr now $179.9K, 2324 Starfish Ln now $449K, 1242 Anhinga Ln now $525K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $699K, 4334 West Gulf Dr now $899K.

No new or closed sales.



2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 $322K, Sunset Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $650K.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $674.9K.

2 new sales: Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 listed for $898K, Captiva Bay Villas #C 3/3.5 listed for $2.395M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 $585K.


1 new listing: 11520 Murmond Ln 5/5.5 $2.075M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

valentineUntil next Friday, best wishes for a great Valentines Day.

P.S. There’s no gift like a property in paradise for the one you love. SanibelSusan is working all day tomorrow for your last minute gift shopping!