Almost Thanksgiving 2015 on Sanibel Island

BeachIt’s Sanibel Susan, reporting that this week, the record-warm temperatures continued on Sanibel and Captiva Islands along with sunny weather. As the islands get busier, so do the bike paths and beaches with snowbirds and vacationers already enjoying pre-holiday festivities.

Weather reports say that a cool front is arriving later today (Friday) with a few occasional showers that may hang around over the weekend and Monday – possibly a few daytime temperatures down into the mid-70’s too. We are ready for that.

By Thanksgiving, it’s likely to be back into the low 80’s.

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

Red Tide

Sanibelcityseal logoIt certainly is not unusual this time of the year, after a rainy warm summer to hear about red tide blooms in Florida. But, it has been a few years since Sanibel has experienced what is occurring now. Fingers crossed that the upcoming cool front pushes it away. In the meantime here what the City posted late yesterday on

City Reminds Private Property Owners Proper Pickup Techniques for Removal of Debris from Sanibel’s Beaches

“At this time, the City of Sanibel is experiencing moderate levels of Red Tide impacting a small portion of the Island. We are monitoring conditions very closely. Excellent sources of additional information on Red Tide are available at:

“Currently, Sanibel Public Works Department is picking up dead fish along the public beaches as conditions warrant. Property owners and managers authorized to remove dead fish from the beach along their respective properties. Anyone removing fish from the beach should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Only dead fish may be removed from the beach. This ensures that beach habitat for Sanibel’s wildlife is protected during the cleanup process.
  • Dead fish may only be removed by hand, using hand tools such as pitch forks or grabbers. The use of shovels and mechanical equipment is strictly prohibited.
  • All fish should be double bagged and placed in an onsite dumpster for disposal.
  • At this time, NO large sea life has been impacted. If you have large fish, marine mammals or sea turtles that are too large to handle, please contact the City of Sanibel Police Dispatch at (239) 472-3111.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted on the beach and only those vehicles authorized by the City Manager may be used in cleanup activities.

For further information regarding this matter, please contact the City of Sanibel Natural Resources Department at (239) 472-3700.”

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoAgain this week, several of our listings had showings. On Sunday, I opened two homes for showings. A condo listing sold this week, we received a new canal-front home listing which had its first showing yesterday, and I met with some other owners also thinking of selling in 2016.

Teammate Dave has been attending inspections, holding open houses, and following up on sales that are in process, while Elise continues to follow-up on our listing activity and marketing material. Lisa will be manning the fort tomorrow updating our inventory documents as she does each week. All of us are off on Thanksgiving Day (we are only closed two days a year – Christmas will be next). The team also will have next Friday off, while I will be showing property, then in the office sending you next Friday’s real estate update.

I had lunch today at Sundial Resort. They have a new menu, with a Caesar salad big enough to share if you are looking for a meal with a view. The new Japanese restaurant there is not open yet and it was pretty quiet for a Friday afternoon, but plenty of check-ins are expected tomorrow. Here’s hoping they are all buyers!

(Picture below taken today from the dining deck at the Sundial Beach Resort.)

Sundial deck view 11-20-15


Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors November Membership Meeting

The Sanctuary club aerialYesterday, was the monthly breakfast meeting of the islands’ Association of Realtors®. Held at The Sanctuary, we were treated to a terrific meal followed by a presentation by Ken Kouril, the Golf Club General Manager. His pitch centered on the upcoming 2016 Capital Project planned at The Sanctuary which will provide more outside dining, redecorating and refreshing the Clubhouse, and constructing a state-of-the-art Fitness Facility. Here are a few more details from his handout:

Redecorate/Refresh the Clubhouse – Redecorating by Peacock & Lewis, a highly recognized and awarded architectural and decorating firm, will focus on such key components as the color palette, repainting, new carpets and drapes, reupholstering and replacing furniture, new lighting fixtures, improved acoustics in the main dining room, an audio-visual system, and modernization of the bathrooms.

Outside Dining – The porch adjoining the Grill Room will be transformed into a pleasant dining venue for Members. The project will involve a minor renovation to eliminate visual obstructions (the lower wall) to improve the view, and a complete makeover (e.g. floor, ceiling, lighting, furniture, fans, etc.) of the space to create a comfortable and attractive setting in harmony with the Grill Room.

Fitness & Wellness Center – A 5,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Fitness & Wellness Facility will be constructed comprised of a 1,800 sq. ft. equipment room housing cardio and strength training equipment, a dedicated stretching room, a 900 sq. ft. group exercise room for Pilates, yoga, and similar activities, comfortable and well-appointed rooms for massage therapy, and restrooms. There will be a new outside pool (75’ long x 25’ wide) for recreation and lap swimming with both deep and shallow water. Aerobics classes also will be an addition to the existing wellness programs currently offered.”

So as not to interfere with the upcoming winter activities at the club, the demolition of the current Fitness Center and construction of the new one will not begin until May 1, 2016 (expected to take a year to complete), while the Clubhouse work will begin May 15, 2016 and be completed by mid-October. (The Clubhouse will be available during construction. Tennis will continue through construction, however, the Fitness Center will not be available during this time.) More info at

If you would like to enjoy these upcoming improvements at The Sanctuary, our listing at 5743 Baltusrol Court overlooking the 9th fairway to lake is available. This unique custom villa home has a spectacular grand foyer, stunning great room opening to expansive outdoor living spaces with pool and spa plus pool bath. Inside, the split floor-plan has 3 bedroom suites with separate office/den, utility room, gourmet kitchen, and powder room. An oversized 2-car garage (really 2-1/2-car) completes the picture. The adjoining lot also is available. Please contact me for more details – or click on the tab above.


Upcoming Island Events

With holiday celebrations beginning, here is the big event of the weekend:

pilgrims-and-indians-and-turkeySun – Nov 22 – Annual Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration – at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way at 6:45 p.m. This is a non-denominational celebration of Thanksgiving in music, words, and song. Admission is free. Local community leaders and representatives from island churches take part. Singers include The BIG ARTS Community Chorus (SanibelSusan in the alto section). Cookies and apple cider follow the celebration. Guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food or monetary donation for FISH of Sanibel-Captiva.

For those that follow our community chorus, here are a few other upcoming performances:

children-singing2Sat – Nov 28 – During the 25th Sanibel Masters Art Festival (which is both Fri & Sat from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on the grounds of The Community House, the Sanibel Chorus will perform a preview of their holiday concert twice on Sat morning, once at 10 a.m. and again about 11:30 following a short break.

Sat – Nov 28 – South Seas Tree Lighting is 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the entrance to South Seas. Free and open to the public, this kicks off South Seas holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony featuring the BIG ARTS Community Chorus, cookie and ornament decorating, and a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

historical village logoFri – Dec 4 – 31st Annual Sanibel Luminary Festival – from 3 to 5 p.m. before the Luminary Trail begins, The Sanibel Historical Village will celebrate Christmas will a free public event. The theme is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The event will highlight what it was like on Sanibel during Christmas 1945. The Sanibel Community Chorus Ensemble will perform and each village building will incorporate patriotic pieces of the time in celebration of the theme, with live interactive events.

BaileysAlso on Sanibel Luminary eve, at approximately 6 p.m. there will be a surprise flash mob inside Bailey’s Store, followed by the singing of carols outside. (Hope I didn’t spoil the surprise.)

Sanibel Luminary Trail is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, while Captiva’s Luminary is the next night, Sat Dec 5.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 13-20



3 new listings: Sand Pointe #217 2/2 $789,999; Kings Crown #315 2/2 $899K; Gulfside Place #317 2/2 $1.495M.

2 price changes: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $250K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 now $985K.

Sundial B206 Ext Back4 new sales: Seashells #28 2/2 listed at $365K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 listed at $519K, Sanibel Arms West #B1 2/2 listed at $525K, Sundial West #B206 2/2 listed at $579K (our listing).

2 closed sales: Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 $569.9K, Somerset #B201 3/2.5 $1.85M.


From Street 38 new listings: 1429 Sandpiper Cir 3/3 half-duplex $429.9K, 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 $534.5K, 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 $799K, 4215 Old Banyan Way 3/3 $825K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.495M (our listing), 1688 Hibiscus Dr 3/3 $1.895M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 $2.995M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $3.195M, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $3.295M.

1 price change: 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 now $874.9K.

4 new sales: 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 listed at $579K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $699K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 5436 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $989K.

3 closed sales: 426 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $645K, 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.583M, 2963 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.5M.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sabal Sands Rd, lot 8 $195K.



4 new listings: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 $287K, Marina Villas #807 2/2 $670K, Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $750K, Beach Homes #20 3/3 $2.595M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.


1 new listing: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $1.095M.

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.)

Thanksgiving wordsUntil next Friday, Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Just Another Gorgeous Friday on the Islands

All’s well again this week on sunny Sanibel Island.

Dolphin 11-6-15

It has continued to be unseasonably warm and there were a few showers on Tuesday while SanibelSusan was out showing property. Rumor has it that a cooler/dryer front arrives this weekend for a couple of days, when temperatures will drop all the way down to the low 80’s during the day, but back into the mid-80’s next week.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

Beach walk at Sanibel Moorings

Beach walk at Sanibel Moorings

Several of our listings had good showings this week. I showed several condos at both Sanibel Moorings as well Mariner Pointe and wrote a sight-unseen offer that was accepted on a canal-front pool home.

Yesterday, there was a Realtor Caravan meeting followed by tour of new listings. Only four new listings were held open which is fewer than usual for this time of the year. The SanibelSusan Team held open our new listing at Coquina Beach #3G.

Beach walk at Coquina Beach

Beach walk at Coquina Beach

Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Upcoming Island Events

Check out the “Upcoming Island Events” tab on for a complete list. Here are some scheduled this month:

Tomorrow – Nov 14 – Free Admission at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum – to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.bailey-mathews shell museum sign

Tomorrow – Nov 14 – 2nd Annual Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club Eye Ball – at The Community House from 5 to 9 p.m. with all proceeds going directly to charity. This year, they will go to SE Guide Dogs.

sccfTomorrow – Nov 14 – Wines In The Wild – SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s) annual wine tasting fundraiser with silent and live auctions. Held at the SSCF Nature Center from 6 to 8 p.m., call SCCF for reservations (472-2329). Tickets $75 in advance or $85 at the door.

Mon – Nov 16 – “A Home of Our Own” – F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. open house to introduce their new building and provide info on what F.I.S.H. does for the community, 2430 Periwinkle Way from 1 to 3:30 p.m.Fish

Tues – Nov 17 – SanCap Solar Connect Solar Community Meeting – Residents of Sanibel and Captiva Islands will be able to realize savings on solar energy conversion through the collective buying power of SanCap Solar Connect, an initiative designed by “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). Based on a number of successful initiatives in other states, it is the first-ever community-driven solarize program in Florida. The next informational Solar Community meeting will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium. Refreshments will be available. No reservations are necessary to attend the meeting. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3, at the same time and place. Representatives from Urban Solar, SanCap Solar Connect’s installation partner, and DDWS will be on hand at the meeting to explain how the program works and answer questions. Residents and businesses will be able to schedule free, no-commitment analyses with Urban Solar to receive a bid for installation costs and information on the advantages of a solar energy system. Go online at to sign up for a free evaluation or to receive informational emails.

Wed – Nov 18 – CASI Breakfast – Condominium Associations of Sanibel, Inc. upcoming breakfast meeting at The Sanctuary Clubhouse at 8 a.m. will include a presentation of the results of a study commissioned by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau about how improvements to accommodations increase revenues. Cost is $15 for condo board members and staff, $25 for all others. Call 239-334-2138 for reservations. (Sanibel property managers have said that their owners who have renovated have seen rental revenues increase $35K to $50K a year.)

jensen-s-twin-palm-resortSat & Sun – Nov 21 & 22 – Concerts to Raise Awareness for Water Quality – Musicians J. Robert Houghtaling, Brent Moyer, and Austin Church will perform on Sat at Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina from 4 to 6 p.m. Then on Sun from 1 to 3 p.m. on the porch of SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Nature Center. Along with music, SCCF scientists and policy staff will be on hand to answer questions about their studies and current issues in the water in the Caloosahatchee River and the estuaries cradled by Sanibel and Captiva.

Ding Darling Society logoSat – Nov 28 – Free ‘Ding’ Darling Kids Fishing Derby casts off on causeway Nov. 28. Kids who are able to hold their own fishing pole are invited to participate in the free 4th annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby to be held at the Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A) on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) cosponsor the event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the causeway, and ages 15 and younger start fishing at 9 a.m. and finish at 11 a.m. Awards ceremony is at 11:30. Judges will record catches during the fishing session. Once the results are tallied, they will award winners in two age groups: 10 to 15, and 9 and younger. Based upon total inches of fish caught, the refuge will award first, second, and third place prizes, plus awards for the largest and smallest fish hooked in both age categories. Participants should bring fishing poles, but the refuge will provide a limited number of loaner poles for those who do not have their own equipment. Bait will be provided. Throughout the day, volunteers and staff will teach fishing skills and safe, ethical fishing practices. The event is made possible also by support from the Trophy Case, Sanibel Island Fishing Club, and Lee County Parks & Recreation.

News Corp Upbeat on Real Estate

realtor.comFrom “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on Monday, November 9, 2015:

“In its latest earning call, media giant News Corp, also the owner of®, singled out its stake in housing market investments as the bright spot in its earnings. News Corp’s income from continuing operations reached $143 million in the first quarter compared to $109 million in the prior year

““News Corp is on track in its transition to a more digital and global future, having successfully integrated several recent acquisitions and built a powerful platform for future growth,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp chief executive, on a recent earnings call. “We are focused on driving sustainable expansion of revenue and profit, and leveraging the potency of our brands, while diligently controlling costs to maximize long-term returns for all investors.”

“News Corp’s largest revenue generating segment, news and information services, provided the largest drag on revenue in the first quarter. But its profits were buoyed by a strengthening housing market.

“News Corp, owner of such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, acquired Move Inc. and® in November 2014, firming up its stake in the real estate arena. News Corp also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website.

“Thomson said during the call “we are particularly pleased with the momentum at®, which is significantly ahead of schedule on key metrics.”

““We are now, by some reckoning, the world’s largest digital property listings company, and we see a particularly bright future in the sector, especially in the U.S. where we believe the national real estate market is still returning to health,” he said.

“In News Corp’s Digital Real Estate Services sector, revenues in the quarter rose $79 million or by 71% compared to the prior year. The jump in revenues was primarily due to the inclusion of the results of Move.

During the first quarter, Move’s revenues climbed 33% to $85 million from $64 million the year prior. Average monthly unique use of®’s web and mobile sites for the quarter surged 43% year-over-year to about 46 million. That growth was mostly attributed to a 64% increase in its mobile users.”

The Housing Recovery’s Missing Link

realtor logoAs reported last Friday by NAR (National Association of Realtors®):

“The declining number of first-time home buyers in the market is the major missing piece in the housing recovery, says Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Despite an uptick in home sales over the past year, the share of first-time home buyers in the housing market dropped for the third consecutive year, and remains at its lowest point in nearly three decades, according to the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.

“The increase in home sales over the past year has instead been driven by more repeat buyers with dual incomes, NAR’s report showed.

“The share of first-time buyers fell to 32% in this year’s survey; last year first-time home buyers represented 33% of the market share. The share of first-time home buyers this year is at its lowest point since 1987, when first-time home buyers represented 30% of the market.

“Historically, first-time home buyers typically represent nearly 40% of primary purchases.

““There are several reasons why there should be more first-time buyers reaching the market, including persistently low mortgage rates, healthy job prospects for those college-educated, and the fact that renting is becoming more unaffordable in many areas,” Yun says. “Unfortunately, there are just as many high hurdles slowing first-time buyers down. Increasing rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for a down payment, there’s scarce inventory for new and existing-homes in their price range, and it’s still too difficult for some to get a mortgage.”

“Twenty-five percent of would-be first-time home buyers said that saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in home ownership, and 58% reported student loans in particular were delaying their ability to save.

““With a median amount of student loan debt for all buyers at $25,000, it’s likely some younger households with even higher levels of debt can’t save for an adequate down payment or have decided to delay buying until their debt is at more comfortable levels,” Yun says.

Repeat buyers were mostly using the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence as their top source for a down payment on their next home purchase – 53% this year compared to 47% last year.

““With first-time buyers stuck on the sidelines, the majority of sales activity in most parts of the country is coming from pent-up sellers taking advantage of rising home values in their neighborhoods and using their equity to trade up or move down,” says Yun.

“Married couples represented an increasing share of buyers: 67% of buyers were married couples (up from 65% last year). Married, repeat buyers have the highest income among all buyers too at $108,600.

“Meanwhile, single females have been a growing share of buyers the past few years but are showing signs of retreating. The share of single, female buyers fell from 16% to 15% in the latest survey.

““Similar to some of the obstacles facing first-time buyers, tight credit conditions and having less purchasing power than households with dual incomes likely led to the share of single-female buyers declining to its lowest since 2001 (also 15 percent),” Yun says.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 6-13



3 new listings: Seashells #28 2/2 $365K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 $599K, Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 $739K.

3 price changes: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $699K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-2 3/3 now $775K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $999K.

2 new sales: Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 listed at $739K, Compass Point #111 2/2 listed at $1.159M.

No closed sales.


5 new listings: 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $830K, 699 Anchor Dr 3/3 $985K, 812 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 $2.447M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.475M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.575M.

3 price changes: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $440K, 1380 Jamaica Dr 3/2 now $580K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $778.5K.

3 new sales: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $539K, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M (our sale), 2963 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 listed at $2.795M.

1 closed sale: 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 $840K.


2 new listings: 9211 Dimmick Dr $174K, 2379 Wulfert Rd $325K.

1 price change: 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct now $299K.

2 new sales: Sabal Sands Rd, lot 8 listed at $219.9K; 2462 Wulfert Rd listed at $219.9K.

1 closed sale: 1243 Par View Dr $318K.



1 new listing: Beach Homes #25 3/2 $2.395M.

3 price changes: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 now $519K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 now $529K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $1.05M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 $570K.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $3.998M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.719M.

2 new sales: 11546/48 Wightman Ln 3/2.5 now $3.8M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $16.5M.

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.)

Until next Friday, here’s to more sunny days… Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel 11-7-15

Summer Like Weather in Nov on Sunny Sanibel Island

It’s Susan just back from a quick trip to the Dominican Republic to find that my SanibelSusan teammates did a great job holding down the fort in my absence and preparing this update! Here’s what they had to say:
It was another quiet week on Sanibel, but traffic continues to increased. There was very little rain this week and local news stations have reported record-setting temperatures with afternoon highs of 91 degrees F.
The set-up for CROW’s Taste of the Islands was going on today across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. It is Sunday November 8th at the community park from noon to 5pm.
Here are some other news items followed by the MLS activity since last week.
SCCF Oyster Restoration
SCCF logoSCCF is looking for volunteers to help restore healthy, productive oyster reefs in San Carlos and Tarpon Bays. Events will be held three days a week from 9 a.m. until noon.
Restoration efforts started this week & included filling buckets with fossilized shell and transporting them to Tarpon Bay boat ramp, loading buckets onto a barge and transporting them to the restoration site, and finally dumping the shell. This is physical work so come prepared with clothes that can get dirty and wet and close-toed shoes that can get wet. Work days and plans for the upcoming weeks will be sent on Fridays to those individuals who have registered at
Veteran’s Day Ceremony
Sanibelcityseal logoThe City of Sanibel and the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will conduct its annual Veterans Day Ceremony to honor military veterans on Wednesday, November 11th. It will be held at Sanibel City Hall with military music beginning at 10:45 am and ceremony starting at 11 am.
waving flagThe guest speaker is former naval aviator and Sanibel resident Ed Sieber. Sanibel’s BIG ARTS Concert Band will provide music. One of the most touching aspects of the ceremony is Remembrances, where veterans recall past military experiences. Any veteran who wished to participate is welcome to do so.
Native Plant Nursery Moving
SCCF’s Native Plant Nursery will be moving to the Bailey Homestead Preserve. On Wednesday, November 11 at 8:30 there will be a soft opening for the nursery’s new location at 1300 Periwinkle Way and to present it’s new name SCCF Native Landscapes and Garden Center.
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 30 – November 6
4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #A201 3/2 $468.5K, Coquina Beach #3G 2/2 $524K (our listing with photos below), Lighthouse Point #217 2/2 $579K, West Shore #3 3/3 $1.749M.
1 price change: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $483K.
1 new sale: Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 listed at $725K.
3 closed sales: Blind Pass #B101 2/2 $410K, Cottage Colony West #110 1/1 $617K, Tarpon Beach #309 2/2 $832.5K.
5 new listings: 954 Donax St 3/3 $500K, 863 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex $549K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 $730K, 923 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $889K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 $1.379M.
7 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $374K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $698K, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $829K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 now $824.9K, 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.149M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 now $1.948M, 3675 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $3.85M.
4 new sales: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $499.9K, 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $570K, 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 4241 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 listed at $3.995M.
1 closed sale: 734 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.05M.
2 new listings: 5407 Osprey Ct $504.5K (short sale), 6002 White Heron Ln $735K.
2 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $199K, Sabal Sands Rd, lot 8 now $219.9K.
No new or closed sales.
Nothing to report.
1 new listing: 16979 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 $4.595M.
1 price change: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.595M.
1 new sale: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 listed at $1.195M.
1 closed sale: 15172/174 Wiles Dr 7/5.5 multi-family $7.3M.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: 16970 Captiva Dr $2.7M.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan & The SanibelSusan Team (David Anderson, Elise Carnes, & Lisa Murty)

Almost Halloween 2015 on Sunny Sanibel Island

sanibel sunset 10-28-15It’s SanibelSusan, reporting another bright sunny warm yet fall-like (lower humidity) Friday on Sanibel Island! How about this sunset that I snapped this week on the causeway.

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate News

sancap GO MLS logoCommuters are adding a few minutes to their travel time now that the roadways are busier, but island real estate business has been slow to pick up this fall. Below are quick summaries of the Sanibel & Captiva inventory and sales this year, followed by a few news items, then the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Some points worth mentioning are that the number of home sales closed on Sanibel year-to-date already exceeds the number of sales in every year since 2005. The prices aren’t back to those levels, but the activity has returned. Sanibel lot sales are following suit, with the number of closed vacant residential lot sales this year also already more than any year since 2005. The number of Sanibel condo sales still lag a little, but could reach a similar level by year end.


Condos: 88 for sale, average asking price $796,733; 140 sold/closed this year, average sale price $699,762.

Homes:  102 for sale, average asking price $1,404,272; 212 sold/closed this year, average sale price $875,895.

Lots:      62 for sale, average asking price $459,983; 38 sold/closed this year, average sale price $388,103.

On Captiva, where the number of sales is smaller, the correlation is different; however, the average Captiva 2016 sale prices – condos, homes, and lots – are all higher than recent years.


Condos: 33 for sale, average asking price $779,845; 30 sold/closed this year, average sale price $1,112,050.

Homes:  36 for sale, average asking price $3,731,652; 20 sold/closed this year, average sale price $3,168,625.

Lots:      3 for sale, average asking price $2,564,667; 2 sold/closed this year, average sale price $2,847,500.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoIn the Office – Last weekend brought two offers on our new listing at Island Beach Club which illustrates how a unique property generates quick interest. With sellers and buyers all in different locations, that offer was a good test of the new Forms Simplicity program (available through Florida Realtors® so it always has the most up-to-date forms).

Remembering back to the days when contract paperwork was mailed and took days, this new process also is an improvement over faxing or scanning/emailing. Anyone with an email address can receive and sign documents with Forms Simplicity software. Wherever you are, documents can be e-signed by cell phone, iPad or tablet, or computer – it’s easy and a big timesaver.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the Association – Yesterday was the last Thursday until spring without a Realtor® Caravan meeting. Starting next week, Caravans will rotate every Thursday morning between West End and East End with 15 properties allowed on tour each week. Per our Association MLS rules, each property may be on tour only once every six months.

Florida Says All State Insurers OK for 100-Year Storm

Florida Realtors logoThe below article from the “Miami Herald” was posted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line. It has good news about Florida insurance providers:

“Even if Florida gets blasted by four hurricanes in one season as it did a decade ago, 67 Florida-based insurance companies tested by the state have enough of a financial cushion to handle the damage, according to a new report touted by the state’s top financial regulator Monday.

“Although the report contains little specifics for customers to compare carriers, the state’s chief financial officer Jeff Atwater praised the results. He said the report, which shows every Florida-based insurer passing every “stress test” scenario, should inject a new level of confidence in Florida’s rebounding insurance industry. “Consumers deserve to have confidence in their carrier, and we’ll continue to share information that shows the processes that are undertaken to test their financial strength,” Atwater said in a statement to the media.

The new report comes as state-run Citizens Property Insurance Company continues to aggressively depopulate itself by pushing customers toward private insurance carriers – often through tactics that Atwater himself has worried are close to “scare tactics.” Since 2012, about one million customers have been ushered out of Citizens, with another 130,000 slated for removal by the end of the year.

“Atwater said he called for new aggressive stress testing of insurance companies partly because he knew homeowners were being led toward private companies that many may have never heard of and may have questioned if they could sustain a major catastrophe. He said the last thing Floridians need to be anxious about during hurricane season is whether or not their insurance provider will be there after a major storm.The new testing ran all 67 insurance companies through storm models that are based on three past historic storm seasons: a 1947 Fort Lauderdale storm, a 1921 Tampa Bay direct hit, and 2004’s season in which four storms struck Florida, leading to 1.6 million insurance claims.

In the 2004 models, even after having four storms hit, the report says all 67 companies passed – meaning they had enough surplus equal to 10% of their liabilities after payouts from all the storms were accounted for….”

More States Help With Association-Condo Issues

realtor logoI agreed to chair the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® ombudsman group next year, so it was with interest that I read that homeowners associations are using a similar process with their complaints. Using ombudsmen is fairly new to the Realtor® organization which already has a long-standing process for reviewing written grievances and holding hearings when merited. 2016 will be the 2nd year that the islands Realtors® have used ombudsmen to enhance communications and perform initial problem-solving to callers concerning Realtors® and real-estate-related transactions.

The below article from the Sebring, FL “News-Sun”, was reposted Monday, Oct 26, on “FloridaRealtors®”. It describes how home and condo associations are employing a similar process.

“Has your homeowner association fined you for painting your house purple? Have you ignored requests to pay annual maintenance fees for your condo’s clubhouse and swimming pool? Has your association refused to let you see its financial documents?

“These are the types of conflicts that frequently erupt between residents and homeowner or condo associations. Some can get quite heated – or downright nasty.

“A small but growing number of states are trying to tackle the problem by creating ombudsman or homeowner information offices to handle the deluge of complaints that often land at state and local agencies. The goal is to educate residents and association board members about their rights and responsibilities under the law and help settle disputes before they wind up in court.

“”You’re dealing with people and personalities and homes and emotions,” said Heather Morton, a legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Having an ombudsman is a way to have somebody a little more neutral offer help and information to the homeowners and the board, and possibly mediate and bring the parties together so they can reach an amicable solution.”

“Last year, Delaware and Illinois passed laws creating ombudsman offices. Delaware’s opened this year; Illinois’ legislation becomes effective in July 2016. Four other states – Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia – already have an ombudsman or a homeowner information center.

“Ombudsman bills were introduced this year in six states – Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York – but none passed, according to the Community Associations Institute, or CAI, a trade group for homeowner and condo associations and their managers.

“More than 66 million Americans live in planned communities of single-family homes, or in condominiums or co-ops, according to CAI. The residents automatically become members of an association when they move in and must comply with the association’s covenants and bylaws.

“Elected volunteer board members usually are responsible for association finances and enforcing the rules. The boards require dues to operate and maintain common areas, such as clubhouses and sidewalks and, in some places, services such as snow removal and garbage pickup. They can levy fines and place liens on properties when homeowners haven’t paid their fees. And they can regulate the exterior appearance of a home, and enforce rules that affect parking and pets.

“Over the decades, the number of associations in the U.S. has exploded, climbing from 10,000 in 1970 to 333,600 in 2014, according to CAI. Florida, California, Texas and Illinois have the largest number of associations.

“Ombudsmen say they’re making a difference by preventing conflicts from escalating into legal battles….”

New Island Business – La France Alterations & Dry Cleaners

LaFrance logoSaw a social media posting this week about La France Alterations & Dry Cleaners opening at 2496 Palm Ridge Road #3. That’s in the same shopping center as Subway and The Pecking Order. La France already services other areas of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Sarasota Counties, plus Boca Grande. Offering dry cleaning, laundry, clothing alterations and repair, they have free pick-up and delivery service. Watch for their grand opening at

Island Halloween Happenings

IslandPawsToday – Oct 30 – Island Paws annual Howl-O-Ween Bash – 5 to 7 p.m. – At the Over Easy Café patio. $10 donations to benefit the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Judging at 6:30 p.m. for the best pet costume. Raffles, prizes, and good bags too.

Community House logoSat – Oct 31 – Sanibel Community House annual Costume & Candy Fall Carnival – 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Admission is one bag of wrapped candy per family – festivities include carnival and homemade games, skit, and hay rides. Costumes encouraged with prizes awarded. Hamburgers, hotdogs, & pizza available.

TweenWatersLogoSat – Oct 31 – ‘Tween Waters annual Hallo ‘Tweened – adult part 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with music by the Bret Foreman Band. Admission $15. Costumes judged at midnight.

Sanibel Beach Parking Permits

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel residents and property owners can purchase their 2016 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits starting Sunday, Nov 1, at the Sanibel Recreation Center, seven days a week during operating hours (Mondays through Thursdays 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.)

To qualify for any Beach Parking Permit, bring valid vehicle registration for each vehicle and a valid government issued identification. A driver’s license showing a Sanibel address or proof of Sanibel property ownership is required to purchase a resident/property owner “A” sticker. 2016 parking permit decals are valid through Nov 30, 2016.

“A” resident/property owner $12: resident and/or Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owners, “A” permit parking only at beach access lots 1 through 7 on West Gulf Dr.;

  • “B” nonresident permit $90: nonresident/non-Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner;
  • “C” restricted permit $90: resident and nonresident;
  • “A/C” resident/property owner permit $102;
  • “B/C” nonresident permit $180;
  • Decal transfer or reissue fee: $3: residential and restricted;
  • General parking meter rate: $4 per hour or any fraction;
  • General parking at $4 per hour or “C” permit required for parking at Gulfside City Park (Algiers), boat ramp and the Causeway parking lot.

How We Will Avoid Another Recession

NAR gray-logoMore good news from my favorite economist, posted in Wednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on ”Realtor®Mag”:

“The economy may be showing signs of slowing lately, but the housing market is likely to keep its positive momentum rolling, writes Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, in a new column for Forbes. In fact, he predicts that it will be housing market gains that enable the overall economy to avoid a recession.

“Indeed home sales, construction, and prices have all been rising and are expected to continue to increase. Over the last year, existing-home sales have risen 7.9%; new-home sales are up 17.7%; housing starts have risen 12%; and the median price of sold homes is up 6.4% (all along on a year-to-date basis).

“The main reason behind the gains is a rising population, Yun notes. At the turn of the century about 282 million people were living in the United States, but that number has jumped to 322 million today. Taking into account births and deaths and international immigration, about 2 to 3 million additional residents arrive in America every year.

““As long as Americans believe in the American Dream of steadily moving up the economic ladder – from renting to a starter-home to a better home to eventually a retirement comfort home – there are plenty of legs in America that will be moving around in the upcoming years to further boost the housing market,” Yun writes.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 23-30



7 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $499K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 $519K, Cottage Colony West #126 1/1 $649K, Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $725K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $894K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.079M.

1 price change: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $599K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #E31 2/1.5 listed at $349.5K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 listed at $487K, Seawind #105 2/2.5 listed at $524.8K, Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 listed at $589K, Sundial East #T302 2/2 listed at $729K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 listed at $1.1M (our listing), Somerset #B201 3/2.5 listed at $1.95M.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 $365K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 2/2 $440K, Sanddollar #A203 3/2 $979K.


3 new listings: 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $570K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $929K, 6101 Starling Way 3/3 $1.298M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $579K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 listed at $989K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 listed at $999.5K, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 listed at $1.995M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $3.575M.

1 closed sale: 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $757.5K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5148 Sea Bell Rd now $215K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3855 Coquina Dr $240K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4202 1/2 now $315K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 listed at $295K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 listed at $629K.

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.)

Happy Halloween to all…   Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


Just Another Happy Friday on Sanibel Island

It’s another happy day on Sanibel Island! The weather is a glorious breezy sunny 82 degrees this afternoon with the forecast the same for the next week.

Beach in front of Sanibel Arms West

Beach in front of Sanibel Arms West

Below are a few news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

SanibelSusan Realty Office Happenings & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate News

croppedTVcabinetIn getting ready for season, we had the office carpet cleaned this week which led to us cleaning out a few file cabinets.

croppedsofaOur old palm pilots, digital cameras, and laser-jet printers which have been replaced with newer technology are now at Goodwill. Who knew they would take that stuff? They even will help with pick-up.

Phone inquiries this week again were mostly about selling, though we had a few good showings too.

View at Island Beach Club #260D

View at Island Beach Club #260D

Teammate Dave held an open house with a big turn-out Wednesday afternoon at our new Island Beach Club listing.

He and Assistant Elise held it open again Thursday morning for Realtors® during our Association’s last bi-weekly caravan.

Weekly Thursday-morning caravans begin again in November – alternating between east-end and west-end properties – and continue weekly until May – or when business slows down.

Beach in front of Island Beach Club

Interestingly during the announcement segment of yesterday’s meeting, only a handful of sales were mentioned though there was plenty of chatter about properties getting offers that didn’t make it to contract. This time of the year, it’s not unusual for Sellers in receipt of a less-than-perfect offer to say “We’re just going into season, so I’m waiting for a better offer”. History shows that rarely happens, but I do agree that this is the time of the year to be ambitious!

The best window of opportunity for island sales is between now and Easter. There usually is a little slowdown around the holidays, then the most activity in February and March when the island is busiest.

Upcoming Island Events

  • Discover DingThrough Oct 24 – 26th Annual “Ding” Darling Days – has continued all week and ends with Conservation Art Day tomorrow. Event schedule at
  • baileyfest 2012Sunday, Oct 25 – 30th Annual BaileyFest Celebration – From noon until 4 p.m. at the Bailey’s Shopping Center. I’ll be there at noon singing with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus as we kick-off the afternoon of fun.
  • bailey-mathews shell museum signShell Museum Will Soon Celebrate its 20th Anniversary!   As part of the celebrations, the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum will host events on two days in November: On Saturday, Nov 14, will be a Free Day, with assorted activities offered to visitors. On the actual anniversary date, Thursday, Nov 18, there will be an open house to members, friends, and neighbors.

White Pelicans – Snowbirds Are Back

white-pelicans from trip advisorDing Darling Wildlife Society posted in their weekly on-line newsletter that the White Pelicans have officially arrived again. A flock was spotted in the Refuge on Monday, Oct 19. They say that other winter birds beginning to arrive include Woodstorks and Pied-Billed Grebes.

Did you know that a pelican’s lower mandible (bottom jaw) serves as a framework for its big stretchy pouch which can expand and hold up to three gallons of water, which could weigh up to 24 pounds?

Humorist Dixon Lanier Merritt wrote a famous pelican-themed limerick in 2010: “Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican! His bill holds more than his belican. He can take in his beak enough food for week, but I’m darned if I know how the helican.”

Along with the feathered visitors, more winter-resident snowbirds arrived this week as traffic increased. Late afternoons on Periwinkle, it’s close to “season” traffic already.

Plenty of winter singers came back early too – as the first rehearsal of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus this week had close to 60 in attendance. That’s a record!

What Luxury Buyers Desire in a Home

NAR gray-logoFrom NAR’s (National Association of Realtors®) on-line “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on Oct 21:

“High net worth individuals aren’t being deterred by rising prices. 54% of them say they plan to make an investment in real estate this year, up from 48% in 2014, according to a survey of the wealthiest 1.5% of the U.S. population by Coldwell Banker Previews International and Ipsos Connect.

“High net worth individuals surveyed give the following reasons for buying real estate:

  • 40% cited investment attractiveness
  • 39% desired to live in a specific location
  • 38% sought a safer investment than the stock market
  • 31% wanted to take advantage of low interest rates.

“Among the group members, residential real estate comprises an average 38% of their net worth. What’s more, 43% purchased real estate in the past five years, and 57% paid cash for their home purchases, according to the survey.

“What are the most desired home features among the wealthy? The survey found that its respondents listed as the top desires in a property:

  • Move-in” condition: 43%
  • Fully automated and wired home environment: 41%
  • LEED-certified green home: 36%
  • Open floor plans: 36%
  • Home gyms: 34%
  • Home theaters: 32%
  • Safe rooms: 30%

“Among high net worth individuals, Generation X members tended to pay the most for their properties. On average, they spent $5.24 million on their home purchase compared to $4.96 million by millennials and $1.55 million among baby boomers.”

Florida’s Single-Family Home Sales Up 13.4% in Sept

Florida the sunshine statePosted yesterday, Oct 22, on Florida Realtors® on-line:

“Florida’s housing sector continued its momentum with more sales, rising median prices and a tight inventory of homes for sale in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 23,574 last month, up 13.4% over September 2014.

“”Florida’s housing sector continues to show strength with more closed sales and an uptick in new listings,” says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. “September marked the 46th month that statewide median sales prices increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties. Sellers received a higher percentage of their original list price, with single-family homes getting on average 94.3% and townhome-condos getting 93.2% on average…Sellers should take advantage of the strong market conditions with rising median prices, while would-be buyers can benefit from interest rates that currently remain at historically low levels and greater access to mortgage financing.””

Top 10 Stupid Staging Ideas

NAR gray-logoYes, the heading of this article posted on-line Oct 5 by NAR (National Association of Realtors®) blog contributor Justin Riordan of Spade and Archer Design Agency sounds negative; but the article has some good advice.

Spade Archer design agency“Not all home staging is created equally. Staging Darwinism is real and only the smart survive. Below we countdown the top 10 “stoopidest” home staging ideas.

“#10. Bake cookies right before your open house. Our sense of smell is very closely related to our sense of memory. True enough, for some people, the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back fantastic memories of days past when their loving mother baked cookies every Saturday afternoon. However, I use to work at Mrs. Fields, and my boss was a real jerk. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies … I get slightly nauseous and a bit angry. Your house should smell like nothing when it is being shown. Scented homes lead to one of two reactions:

  • Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irritated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately.
  • Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up and immediately become suspicious that you are a shyster.

“#9. My house won’t sell unless it has plants in it. Live plants or flowers in a vacant house tend to become dead plants very fast. Unless you are dedicated to checking on these plants regularly, you need to skip them, because nothing stops a house from going pending like dead plants. Fake plants are just that, fake. When it comes down to it, staging is creepy. You are in a house that appears to be occupied and yet, it is not. Every time you add something fake, it is one more reminder that this is not real and thus adds to the creepy factor.

“#8. If they can’t see past that “   “ then they don’t deserve to buy my house. The truth is, if they can see past “___” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market. If you find yourself saying this, think again.

“#7. I can just lightly stage this room and it will work. Light staging or, as I call it, “the placing of random objects in a room,” like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does not help sell houses. It will actually slow the process down. Staging is only meant to do three things:

  • Show the room’s purpose
  • Show the room’s scale
  • Add light to the room

“Random objects in a room serve only to draw attention away from the house. Light staging is like hiring a clown to dance in front of a rack of dresses to help sell the dresses. Your buyers end up paying more attention to the clown than they do the dresses. Either stage the room completely, or don’t stage it at all.

“#6. I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like. You are correct in that you are paying for the staging, but you are incorrect in that you think you are the customer. Really when it comes down to it you are now a retailer, trying to sell a product. You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandiser to display their items to sell to a customer. Your stager is concerned about what the potential buyer will like. You should be too.

“#5. The style of the staging should match the style of the house. Nobody has an entire household full of mid-century modern furniture. When staging a home we want the house to look obtainable. We want our clients to say, “Hey, I could do that!” By staging with an eclectic mix of furniture that does not necessarily “go” with the house, we prove to people that their mis-matched, rag-tag lot of furniture could look good in the house as well.

“#4. We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter. Why in the world would you ask people to be uncomfortable in their new home, the first time they see it in order to protect floors that will no longer belong to you in a matter of weeks? Regardless of how or if you ask, thoughtful people with dirty shoes will remove them before coming through; thoughtless people will leave them on.

“#3. We should pull out the staging as soon as the house goes pending. Uh-oh! You pulled out your staging before the inspection period ended in order to save a few bucks on rental furniture. Now your sale has failed because the buyer didn’t like the condition of the water heater. I see that frowny face. Next time leave it in through the inspection period, better yet, through the financing contingency.

#2. Staging can fix anything. I so wish this was true, but often, it is not. Sometimes things are so bad, they need to be fixed prior to, or in lieu of, staging. If your entire house is painted in rainbow tie-dye, no amount of staging can help you.

“And the #1 “stoopidest” idea … “Staging is easy.” It is amazing how many sellers I meet on a daily basis. Nearly every single day somebody calls me to explain to me why they don’t need staging services. They say they know exactly what their house needs in order to sell, and how they have a lot of experience doing what I do and they could just do it themselves. I always wonder to myself, “Then why are you calling me?” The truth of the matter is, home staging is not as easy as it looks. I often compare it to women’s gymnastics. You know you are doing it right when it looks effortless. If you get a chance Google “Nadia Comaneci, perfect score” and watch the video. I don’t think she even broke a sweat. Good home staging looks like that. What it all comes down to is that “staging is easy” is the No. 1 biggest myth we would love to perpetuate. In the end, “stoopid” staging does nothing to help you and could actually hurt your sale. You need a competent staging professional if you want top dollar for your house.”

Beach in front of Sanibel Moorings

Beach in front of Sanibel Moorings

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 16-23



4 new listings: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 $412K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $515.9K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $1.079M, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.079M.

1 price change: Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 now $2.235M.

5 new sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 listed at $384.9K, Sundial West #H103 2/2 listed at $460K, Sundial East #N301 2/2 listed at $739K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 listed at $745K, Junonia #201 3/2 listed at $1.195M.

2 closed sales: Signal Inn #14 2/2 $700K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 $2.3125M.


5 new listings: 1121 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $519K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $579K, 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $2.09M, 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.595M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $3.495M.

5 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $499.9K, 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $589K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 now $699K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 now $4.498M.

5 new sales: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $539K, 720 Elinor Way 3/2 listed at $649K, 426 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $669K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 listed at $768.5K, 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex listed at $899,555.

3 closed sales: 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $499K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $737.5K, 1198 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex $850K, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5706 SanCap Rd now $449K.

2 new sales: Pine Ave, Lot 24 listed at $248.5K, 1243 Par View Dr listed at $349K.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5216 1/2 $325K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 now $294K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

3 price changes: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.395M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $3.78M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.68M.

1 new sale: 953 S Seas Plantation Rd 5/5.5 listed at $6.299M.

No closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11545 Wightman Ln listed at $1.245M.

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.)

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Beach in front of Compass Point

Beach in front of Compass Point

It’s All About the View at SanibelSusan’s Newest Listing

It’s Susan with another Friday real estate and news report about what’s been happening on the islands over the last week. With the Monday Columbus Day holiday and winter residents returning, activity and traffic increased a little. With owners getting their properties ready for “season”, most of the real estate activity this week has been new listings – seven new condo listings and seven new home listings on Sanibel alone. One is our new gulf-front west-corner unit at Island Beach Club with direct beach plus sunset views. No professional photos yet, but being filmed soon. Here are a few snapshots taken by cell phone. It’s all about the view!

Some of our listings had inquiries or were shown this week while teammate Dave held open houses too. Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Island Weather, Happenings & Upcoming Events

The island had wonderful weather this week – partly cloudy to sunny skies, plus lower temperatures and lower humidity. Pre-season events are beginning. Here are a few:

FISH 2015 10K logoTomorrow, Oct 17 – 7th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – With the start-finish line at the Community House, this is an annual fundraiser for FISH of San-Cap (neighbors helping neighbors). Start time is 7:30 a.m.

pigs_in_paradise_logo_2015_correctedSunday, Oct 18 – Pigs in Paradise 2015 – Children’s Education Center of the Islands family-friendly fundraiser at Sanibel Community House from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door.

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 18 to 24 – 26th Annual “Ding” Darling Days – kicks off with Sunday Family Fun Day and ends with Conservation Art Day next Saturday. Event schedule at

BIG Arts logoMonday, Oct 19 – BIG ARTS Monday Night Film Series Begins – The Monday night film series begins at BIG ARTS Schein Hall with “The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window & Disappeared”. Every Monday at 7 p.m. through April a new talked-about and award-winning film is featured. Tickets are just $10 followed by moderated discussions and complimentary receptions. See the full schedule at

Baileyfest2015-save_the_dateSunday, Oct 25 – 30th Annual BaileyFest Celebration – From noon until 4 p.m. at the Bailey’s Shopping Center, this event is free to the public and includes live entertainment, games, raffles and giveaways, face-painting, pony rides, food and refreshments, and local service organizations. The BIG ARTS Community Chorus kicks off the fest at noon with “The Star Spangled Banner”, followed by lots more music and fun.

A Few Sanibel Projects Still Underway

In our travels this week, we couldn’t help but notice a few annual projects underway including plenty of landscaping crews engaged in post-summer end-of-rainy season tree trimming and mulching. One of the big trees was taken down at Periwinkle Place yesterday. Other summer/fall construction projects seen in progress include:

Mariner Pointe

Mariner Pointe

Intersection of Periwinkle Way & Casa Ybel – New crosswalk work in progress, expected to be done in November.

Mariner Pointe – Piling repairs and dock improvements canal side.



Poinciana – Balcony restoration work.

Pointe Santo

Pointe Santo

Pointe Santo – Balcony and concrete restoration work continuing in Buildings A and E.

Seascape – Balcony restoration project.

Sundial Resort – Balcony and concrete restoration work in progress in Buildings S and T.

Sundial East

Sundial East

Also at Sundial, Sanibel Planning Commission this week approved a permit for a new Japanese hibachi-style steakhouse and sushi bar. Remember Noopies? This won’t be exactly the same, but will bring back more variety to island dining. The new eatery is expected to be open in December or January.

Villa Sanibel

Villa Sanibel

Villa Sanibel – Crane on premises with work underway on what appears to be new roof(s).





Sanibel Seeking Feedback on Shares Use Path Improvements

Sanibelcityseal logoCitizens of Sanibel have been invited to submit their input on each of the recommendations included in the draft Shared Use Path Intersection Improvement Study. Before Fri, Oct 30, you are asked to submit your input in one of three ways.

  1. On-line at
  2. Attending the Thursday, Oct 22, Open house at the Sanibel Rec Center (3880 San-Cap Rd) from 9 a.m. to noon and from 3 to 7 p.m.
  3. Submitting written comments by mail or in person to Sanibel City Hall.

See more info on

Homeowners Insurance Protects You from Halloween Horrors

Halloween treat-clipart-halloweenYesterday, NAR’s (National Association of Realtors®) on-line “Weekly Report” posted the following article by House Logic:

“When zombies, Snookies, and Lady Gagas storm your front door…, don’t fear! Your homeowners insurance will protect you from Halloween mishaps.

“Halloween is all fun and games until a trick-or-treater trips, knocks over your jack-o-lantern, and sets your front porch on fire. Fortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover these common Halloween home mishaps:

“Tricksters damage your home. Standard homeowners’ policies cover vandalism, such as dents in your siding caused by eggs thrown at your home, when repair costs exceed your deductible.

“Candles or decorations cause a fire. A fire started by a Halloween candle or a string of holiday lights will be covered. If the fire makes your home unlivable, your homeowners’ policy will pay your living expenses while you wait for repairs.

“A trick-or-treater gets hurt on your property. Injuries to trick-or-treaters or your party guests are covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. The injured person files a claim with your insurer.

“You crash your car into a telephone pole to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater in your driveway. That accident would be covered by the collision portion of your auto insurance (if you have it). If you hurt anyone, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the cost of their treatment.

“If everything on this list of Halloween home horrors occurred, your umbrella insurance would kick in to cover costs — if you have it.

“To make your property safe for Halloween, the Insurance Information Institute has these recommendations:

  • Pick up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop, or porch that a person could trip over.
  • Turn on your outdoor lighting so kids can see where they’re going.
  • Use battery-powered lights in your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Don’t put matches, lighters, or candles in places children can reach.
  • Pets, candles, and trick-or-treaters don’t mix. Keep pets away from the front door on Halloween.
  • Look for safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), on your decorative lights.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 9-16



7 new listings: Seawind #A101 2/2.5 $514.9K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $524.8K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 $710K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-2 3/3 $795K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 $1.1M (our listing), Compass Point #151 3/2 $1.245M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 $2.695M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms E8 2/2 now $487K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 now $1.895M.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 listed at $335K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 listed at $369.9K, Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.295M.

3 closed sales: Sundial West #H303 2/2 $572K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.05M, Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 $2.3M.


7 new listings: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $379K, 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $449K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $649K, 720 Elinor Way 3/2 $649K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 $989K, 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 $1.15M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1.649M.

3 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 4/2 now $469.9K, 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $499K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $799K.

5 new sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed at $450K, 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $529K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $679.9K, 1220 Morningside Pl 5/5 multi-family listed at $1.198M, 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.695M.

2 closed sales: 1537 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $760K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 $1.5M.


1 new listing: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.8M.

1 price change: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $149K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2142 Starfish Ln $383.5K.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $299.9K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 $4.495M.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $7.1M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.26M.


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.)

Until next Friday, happy weekend to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Columbus Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

As another week comes to a close, SanibelSusan reports that although many new listings are coming on the market for “season”, there was not much sales action again this week.

Here is a quick summary of the Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales since the first of the year compared to last year and the year before. Also included is inventory today. Note these prices are averages.

SANIBEL   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale        84      $763,929                 101      $1,365,647           65         $462,128

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015            133     $674,347                 205         $876,028           36          $392,344

2014            132     $672,330                 174         $821,266           20          $452,903

2013            138     $563,493                 175         $922,938           18          $450,364

CAPTIVA   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale         37      $743,454                  36       $3,798,014           4        $2,234,750

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015              30      $1,112,050              19       $3,269,079            2          $2,847,500

2014              17           $660,471            23       $2,826,717            0           N/A

2013              27           $665,630           15       $2,642,267             1             $650,000

(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.)

Here are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Island Weather, Happenings & Upcoming Events

Farmers Market Girls 10-4-2015Between some occasional showers, the opening of Sanibel’s Farmers’ Market last Sunday morning was a great success. Lots of locals were in attendance with a terrific variety of goods available for those looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, prepared food, and much more. Big thank you to the market organizers, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura.

Farmer Market bagsThis year they have some new recyclable shopping bags too, I bought a few to hold some future closing gifts!

Sanibel Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April. See you there!

Since last weekend, island weather has been pretty nice. Temperatures are in the low to mid 80’s, the humidity is down, and sunshine is expected every day for at least the next week.

Theater-in-SanibelTonight through Sunday – BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater – With a cast of 35 children, the debut of “Flat Stanley”, the 1st children’s theater show from Creative Theater Workshop is being performed at Strauss Theater.

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumOctober 20 – Sanibel Historical Museum and Village reopens with new expanded hours. Opening two weeks earlier than last year and adding an additional day to their schedule, the Museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

November 8 – 34th Annual Taste of the Islands – from 12 to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. This is CROW’s largest fundraiser of the year. Volunteers are needed, forms available at

2015 Tast of the Islands

Through 2017, Market Should Stay Strong

More positive indicators in Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

Urban Land Insititute logo“You can expect at least three more years of favorable real estate conditions, with the overall housing market projected to continue expanding at steady levels from this year through 2017, according to a new survey from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, based on 49 of the real estate industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Still, compared to previous forecasts, the latest ULI forecast is less bullish on its outlook. Overall, real estate indicators are expected to be better than their 20-year averages this year, except among the following indicators that are forecasted to perform worse: commercial property price growth, equity REIT returns, retail availability rates, and single-family housing starts.

““The latest Consensus Forecast has picked up on recent growth concerns and stock market corrections around the world,” says William Maher, ULI leader. “The U.S. economy and real estate markets are in much better shape than most other countries, but global economies and capital markets are increasingly inter-related. Still, the vast majority of indicators in the forecast indicate favorable economic and capital markets in the U.S., as well as moderately strong real estate fundamentals and investment returns.”

“Additional highlights from ULI’s Consensus Forecast:

  • Commercial property transaction volume is predicted to rise for another two years and then level off to $500 billion by 2017.
  • Commercial real estate prices are forecasted to rise by 10% in 2015 and then slow to a 6% increase in 2016 and to 4.5% in 2017 – below the long-term average
  • Vacancy rates are projected to decrease slightly for office and retail over the next three years. On the other hand, industrial availability rates and hotel occupancy rates are projected to improve in 2015 and then basically plateau in 2016 and 2017.
  • Single-family housing starts are projected to increase to 745,000 in 2015; 842,000 in 2016; and 900,000 in 2017. Despite the increases, starts are expected to remain below the 20-year average.
  • Home prices are expected to moderate to 5% this year; 4.3% growth in 2016; and 3.9% in 2017.”

What Zillow Doesn’t Want You To Know

buildzoom logoPosted on on Monday, this was written by their Chief Economist, Issi Romem:

“Almost every home buyer begins searching for his or her dream home online. Today, that largely means looking for listings on Zillow Group portals, Zillow and Trulia, or on

“But which one is the best place to begin that search?

“Depending on where you happen to reside — and especially if you intend to relocate — the portal you choose to search may be more important than you realize.

“The crucial point for homebuyers, realtors and investors to take away is that the number of listings being provided still varies widely from city to city.“According to comScore, Zillow and Trulia combined attract far more web traffic than However, since News Corp. acquired the number of unique visitors to that site has steadily grown, and notably has now surpassed Trulia to become the second most popular portal.trulia-logo

“But has a different advantage. Before its recent acquisition by News Corp., operator Move, Inc. had a 10-year head start, backed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This advantage has translated into the site having more timely, accurate and comprehensive nationwide listings. This is a result of receiving and updating data from almost all of the 800+ multiple listing services (MLSs) in the U.S. every 15 minutes.

Zillow logo“The discrepancy between the number and quality of listings available on the Zillow Group portals and on attracted a great deal of attention in April, when ListHub — a key aggregator of MLS data, now controlled by News Corp. — terminated the contract, and stopped providing listing information to Zillow Group.

“In anticipation of the event, Zillow Group scrambled to negotiate its own agreements with individual MLSs to obtain listings which it had previously obtained from ListHub. By mid 2015 Zillow Group had signed agreements with just over 300 MLSs.

“In April, we tracked the overnight change in the number of listings on the different portals after ListHub’s agreement with Zillow Group expired. Although the number of listings on Zillow and Trulia fell markedly overnight, we gave Zillow Group the benefit of the doubt by expressing our belief that it was well poised to obtain many more MLS agreements.

“Nevertheless, we soon faced a string of cease-and-desist letters from Zillow Group’s counsel, ordering us to retract the blog post on the grounds that we collected the information therein in an automated fashion that violated the portals’ terms of service. Fearing the implications of a lawsuit by a large corporation — regardless of the ultimate outcome — we obeyed the order by retracting the blog post.

“Since then, we have recorded the number of listings on and for the core cities of the 51 largest U.S. metro areas. So as not to violate’s terms of service we have done so manually (hence the limited number of cities). On Friday, Zillow Group issued us a new order to cease-and-desist….

“As of September 21, has fewer listings than in 42 out of 51 cities. The discrepancy is often quite substantial: in 30 of the 51 cities, has more than 20% fewer listings, and in 15 of the 51 cities is behind by more than 60%!

“In a handful of cities, notably Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Detroit, provides more listings than While this may indicate the absence of some listings from, it may also reflect data quality issues in Zillow’s database, such as incorrect listing details, or duplicate or expired listings. We encourage readers to compare listings in these cities and form their own opinions. Here is a link to the guidelines for comparing apples-to-apples on the and websites.

“At least superficially, the numbers appear to support’s claim of having superior data, but does’s advantage matter for Zillow Group?

“As long as Zillow Group continues to draw substantially more traffic than, agents and brokers will continue to feel compelled to advertise on its portals. As a result, Zillow Group revenue is less sensitive to its listing coverage than one might think. Yet the danger remains that consumers will eventually recognize the discrepancy and flock to or elsewhere in search of more comprehensive and accurate listings. If this happens, agent and broker dollars will follow.

“Going forward, Zillow Group has the ability to close the listing gap as it continues to sign additional local MLS agreements, but will it succeed? Judging by its limited progress on this front between April and September…it is destined for an uphill battle. The nature of relationships between the MLSs and Zillow Group’s portals are the subject of passionate disagreement, and it appears that Zillow Group is finding it difficult to win over “multiple” hearts and minds.”

San Cap LogoFYI – The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service does not syndicate its listings through Zillow or any third party site. Through the islands association of Realtors, listings are on-line to members at and to the public on and

Since SanibelSusan also belongs to the Southwest Florida Regional MLS (, our listings are posted twice on Because the regional MLS also offers syndication. Our listings also are on Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate search sites. Additionally through the regional MLS, our listings are shared with other participating Florida MLS’s, through a cooperative agreement called MLS Advantage.

The 8 Biggest Concerns for Realtors®

realtor logoGood write-up in the October issue of “Florida Realtor®” which says:

“Realtors® are strongly confident about the housing market’s outlook although confidence has eased since the beginning of this spring, according to a recent Realtors® Confidence Index, a monthly survey…about local market conditions. The Realtors® Confidence Index survey stressed these concerns:

  1. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure regulations, which took effect October 3, and concerns that they could delay closings.
  2. Tight inventory with a limited number of homes for sale.
  3. Affordability issues: Fewer affordable homes so sellers are also hesitant to move.
  4. Financing issues, such as difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage due to higher FICO credit and down payment standards, a protracted mortgage approval process and condo-financing issues.
  5. Appraisal issues: conservative estimates, out-of-town appraisers, and slow turn-around.
  6. Rising interest rates.
  7. Declining demand from international buyers due to a strong U.S. dollar.
  8. Uncertainty about flood insurance rates and reform.”

Casa Ybel Sets the Bar High for Sanibel Island Resorts

Thistle Lodge View USA TodayNice article about Casa Ybel and Thistle Lodge on Monday’s USA Today’s “”. (Both of these photos came from that web site.)

I had lunch at Thistle Lodge a couple of weeks ago and the food and view continue to be magnificent. Some don’t know that most of this resort is comprised of timeshare units, but the five westerly buildings of eight units each are privately-owned 1-bedroom condominiums called Cottage Colony West. None are currently available, but there always are buyers for these income-producers. I got a request just yesterday. There have been three sales there this year with prices back into the 6’s. Here’s the recent article from

Thistle Lodge USA today“To get the story of one of the most historic beachfront resorts in the Fort Myers area, you’ll have to go back to the late 1800s. That’s when former missionary George Barnes homesteaded nearly 500 acres on Sanibel, building the island’s first church, a cottage that evolved into the first inn and eventually the award-winning Casa Ybel Resort.

“When one of the missionary’s daughters married a resort guest, the two built a Victorian home on the property, naming it Thistle Lodge. Celebrities and dignitaries the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford visited the lodge.

“Recreated in 1979, today it is home to a beloved restaurant for both resort guests and locals. Diners not only love the view of the beach from its big windows, but also the partnership between Thistle Lodge and winemakers at Rutherford Wine Company in Napa Valley, Calif.; they’ve created a private label Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. The rest of the wine list spans the globe, offering valuable tasting notes and affordable pricing.

One menu item not to miss is the Lobster and Lump Crab “Diver” Scallops. In this signature dish, scallops are topped with lobster and crab, encrusted and baked. The dish is finished with a citrus buerre blanc and served with baby field greens and jasmine rice. The Pecan Seared Salmon is another hit.

“While the menu leans heavily on seafood, the lodge serves succulent steaks, hand carved in house, along with an herb-crusted lamb and a veal tenderloin in a smoked pomodoro romesco.

“Besides at Thistle Lodge, guests can dine around the pool bar at Coconuts. The smell of the grill is hard to resist, as the resort has a popular grilling station every weekend and almost every day during season (winter and spring).

“As for the rest of the resort, managers are constantly upgrading its amenities and accommodations. The one- and two- bedroom suites are spacious and well equipped. Their screened lanais face the water, creating the perfect space for your morning coffee or evening cocktails. New this season are upgraded kitchens in all of the units.

““Some of the same people have been coming here for decades, so we are always trying to enhance their experience,” says Casa Ybel’s General Manager Froilan Ramirez. Casa Ybel has it all; it’s perfect for romance, while still accommodating to families. The Kids Club offers daily themes and activities that range from lizard hunting to arts and crafts. The resort even offers babysitting services to allow parents a date night. If you must do some work during your vacation, the resort Wi-Fi has been shored up enough to reach the beach, for your office under an umbrella.

“Other amenities include tennis and basketball courts, along with clinics to improve your skills. Less strenuous activities include horseshoe and croquet, to name a few.

“However, some of the best things to do are on the beach. Casa Ybel’s striking, white-sand beach is full of shells and beautiful blue water. It’s also host to some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see.

“The grounds here are gorgeously landscaped, providing a calm, inviting atmosphere. Many guests like the fact that Casa Ybel is slightly off the beaten path, yet still a quick bike ride to shopping, nature preserves and other sites. One getaway here, and you’ll understand why visitors return year after year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 2-9



7 new listings: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $369K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $559.9K, Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.159M, Sunset South #5A 2/2 $1.224M, Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.295M, Sanibel Seaview #1 2/2 $1.349M.

3 price changes: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 2/2.5 now $625K, Sundial #T302 2/2 now $729K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.195M.

1 new sale: Sundial #F201 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $995K.

1 price change: 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 now $2.795M.

2 new sales: 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749K.

3 closed sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 $315K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $462K, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.2M.


1 new listing: 2501 Wulfert Rd $249K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2142 Starfish Ln $383.5K



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 $649K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 now $1.298M, 16697 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $8.05M.

1 new sale: 15172/174 Wiles Dr 7/5.5 multi-family listed at $7M.

No closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16297 Captiva Dr now $1.595M.

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.)

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a terrific Columbus Day weekend 2015!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. Lots of new things to do have been added to the list under “Upcoming Island Events” above. Some get sold out early, so be sure to check the list often.

Expect Another Good Weekend for Shelling on Sanibel Island

It is SusanSusan reporting that it is pretty quiet on the island again this week. Here are a few news items followed by the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Southwest Florida Weather

Island weather sure has been mixed. After a cloudy and sometimes soggy weekend (there were no happy super blood moon eclipse watchers here), Monday’s excitement included heavy rains, sometimes torrential.

Patience was required while the island drainage system did its magic on land that was already super saturated. By late Monday afternoon, East Gulf Drive at the lighthouse end of the island was closed briefly when the high moon tide brought waves across the roadway.

(It’s all AOK and open now, here are some pictures taken by my cell phone earlier this afternoon.)

Sanibel Lighthouse beach Sanibel Lighthouse drive Sanibel Lighthouse

By Wednesday, the islands were back to normal with sunny weather and bright skies, as we tentatively watched the news of Hurricane Joaquin as it developed. With its path paralleling the east coast, just a breezy weekend is expected here.

Closing Process Changes: What To Expect

In an earlier Friday update I described the federally-mandated changes with new mortgage disclosure rules that begin tomorrow, this is just a reminder that they essentially are in effect. This will mean that offers with financing contingencies likely will have the closing date later than the typical 30-45 days. New contracts also may have a contingency about these disclosures.

Sanibelsusan LogoSince The SanibelSusan Team’s standard procedures from contract-to-closing include plenty of communication and early sharing of contracts and any amendments with lenders, title companies, and closing agents, we do not expect that these changes will impact us much.

With lenders, these changes may just be a temporary bump for the learning curve. Banks will need to provide consumers with more and earlier disclosures regarding their financing.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors members including mortgage company affiliates were advised of these changes at our August Membership Meeting where the details of the new Truth in Lending Act (TILA) regulation were discussed. Scroll down to my August 28th blog for a refresher.

The Baby Boomers Are Driving Growth

realtor logoThe Sanibel/Captiva real estate market loves baby boomers. Here’s what Monday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” had to say about them too:

“Baby boomers are the “driving force” of household formation, which is critical for real estate demand, according to a new blog post at the National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog.

baby boomers“The highest gains in household formation have been by 65- to 74-year-olds, who accounted for 860,000 new households alone from the first half of 2014 to first half of 2015, according to Census Bureau data. The 55 to 64 age group comprised the second highest at 391,000, followed by people over 75 years of age who formed 264,000 new households during that time period.

(According to a Kansas City Federal Reserve Census Bureau federal study: “Downsizing Boomers to Fuel Apartment Market – The number of Americans aged 70 and older will increase by more than 20 million in the next 15 years, according to Census Bureau estimates. Downsizing activity usually occurs around the age of 70 and becoming increasingly prominent by age 75.)

“Meanwhile, younger age groups had less. The 20 to 24 age group had negative net household formation numbers of 85,000. The 25- to 34-year-old age group, however, had 159,000 new households during that time.

Young professionals have been slow to form their own households. The share of the population living with parents has risen dramatically over the last few years. For the 25- to 29-year-old age group, the percentage has risen from 10% in 1980 to 25% by 2013. Also, the share of 25-to 29-year-olds who have never been married has dropped from 70% in 1980 to less than 40% in 2013.

“While young adults have been the main drivers of multifamily construction, the baby boom generation will lead the long-term demand for multifamily construction, according to Jordan Rappaport of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who recently spoke in a presentation at the REALTOR® University Speaker Series.”

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter

Ding Darling Society logoHere are a couple of tidbits from the October 1 issue of ““Ding” on the Wing” which is the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter.

“Ding” Darling 2016 Free Film Series includes eight films. Each film is free, but is limited to the first 100 guests in Auditorium A at the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center. See more details on the “Upcoming Events” tab on my web site,

Woodring Ding 10-2015Woodring Demolition – “Work began last week on restoring habitat to its natural state at the Refuge’s new Woodring Point property, purchased last year through funds raised by the DDWS Preservation Campaign. Crews took down one of the property’s derelict outbuildings and will continue work removing exotics later this year.”

Definition of a Bedroom

News Press logoIt was so quiet Wednesday that SanibelSusan used some of the downtime to clean out office files. One old stash is a folder of info and clippings that I thought might be good for future newsletters. Here is an interesting one that was posted in “The News-Press” Real Estate Section on November 28, 2008. It is from a “question and answer” column by Barry Stone who is a home inspector and nationally-syndicated columnist, known as the House Detective (

In this business, Realtors® often encounter rooms that are described as bedrooms, but are not. Sometimes when showing property a prospective buyer will say “this cannot be called a bedroom.” Here is Barry Stone’s official definition:

“A bedroom must be at least 70 square feet in area, with neither dimension less than 7 feet in length. The minimum required ceiling height is 7 feet. When the ceiling is sloped, 50% of the ceiling can be less than 7 feet, as long as no portion of it is less than 5 feet.

“A bedroom must also have an openable window for light, ventilation, and fire escape. For light, the window size must be at least 8% of the floor area. For ventilation, the openable portion of the window must be at least 4% of the floor area. For fire escape, the window must be at least 5.7 sq ft. in area. The opening must have a minimum height of 24”, a minimum width of 20”, & a maximum sill height of 44”.

“And contrary to popular belief, no closet is required for a bedroom.”

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens Sunday

Sanibel farmers mkt 2015It will be like old home week when locals gather at the Farmers’ Market on the grounds of City Hall on Sunday morning. The market will be every Sunday from October 4 to April 24, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parking is available in lots at Sanibel City Hall, the Sanibel Library, BIG Arts, and Herb Strauss Theater. Bicycles can be parked at a designated area at City Hall. Handicap parking is located there too. The market also is pet friendly, for the well-mannered.

The market is my stop en route to the office on Sundays. If you are looking for local produce, seafood, and more, it is the place to get it. See you there!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 25-October 2



5 new listings: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $789K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $795K, Sand Pointe #137 2/2 $1.095M, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $1.295M, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.895M.

No price changes.

2 new sale: Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 2/2 listed at $463K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 listed at $739K.

4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $300K, Sundial West #B408 1/1 $440K, Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #103 2/2 $760K.


3 new listings: 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $874.9K, 580 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $1.599M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 $3,999,999.

No price changes or new sales.

5 closed sales: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 $300K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 $436K, 580 Chert Ct 2/2 $550K, 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $605K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $650K.


1 new listing: 1820 Ardsley Way $175K.

1 price change: 6411 Pine Ave now $375.5K.

1 new sale: 1304 Eagle Run Dr listed at $219K.

1 closed sale: 971 Main St $180K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $629K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 listed at $580K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 $265K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.645M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 15295 Captiva Dr now $950K.

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 wishing you good weather with Joaquin far out to sea…

Here the shelling should continue to be fabulous! Here are some recent finds posted by local sheller Pam Rambo on (which has great info on island shelling).Shells at beachcombing Bowmans Beach

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping up September 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

The weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands improved considerably this week. It is not quite fall temperatures yet, but more of a summer pattern with warm sunny days and occasional late afternoon or evening showers.

Traffic increased a little as winter residents start to come back. Fall maintenance projects continue almost everywhere, while some restaurants/shops are reopening after short reprieves.

Our listings had a few showings this week, with more scheduled this weekend. We also received a new condo listing at Sanibel Arms West. (It is gulf-front, rare for those to become available.)

View from stairs

The local Association of Realtors® had no Realtor Caravan this week, the biweekly summer schedule continues through October. There is a Caravan scheduled next Thursday morning following our Association meeting. From 9 a.m. until noon, we will hold open both Sanibel Moorings #822 and Sanibel Arms West #E2.

A report of the activity posted over the past seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

Sanibel Approves Budget With No Tax Increase for Residents

Sanibelcityseal logoThe Sanibel City Council put the final stamp to its budget and unanimously approved a rolled-back millage rate for fiscal year 2015-16 at its final budget hearing Tuesday at City Hall. The budget is 8.9% higher than the 2014-15 adopted budget, but is 2.3% less than the final amended budget. The budget runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016 and is required by law to be balanced. It was prepared based on a rolled-back millage rate of 1.9139 which also was approved at Tuesday’s final budget meeting.

The millage rate is down 4.3% from last year and down 23.4% over the last decade. The City also reduced its debt during the economic downturn by 44.4%. Congratulations to Sanibel’s outstanding City employees led by City Manager Judie Zimomra and City Council, led by Mayor Kevin Ruane.

Sight-Unseen Offers

Contract%20Doodleblob%20ClipartProspective buyers here often are surprised when I tell them that we sometimes get offers on new listings sight-unseen. When I explain that many future buyers are seasonal visitors who regularly come at only a certain time each year, it starts to make more sense. After all, new listings may come on the market at any time of the year. In some communities and complexes where there are little turn-over, it might mean those buyers need to jump before someone else beats ‘um to it. Most Realtors® know folks just waiting for a certain property in a certain area, which is why the information and photos in the original uploading of each listing are so important.

I read a “Daily Real Estate News” article this week that provided the results of a Redfin survey on SurveyMonkey which said “1 in 5 Buyers Make Offer Without Seeing Home”. Wow, that’s definitely more than I expected. According to their survey, “21% of the homebuyers surveyed said they made an offer on a house without seeing it in person.”

It also said that Milennials were “the age group most likely to make an offer without seeing the house in person first at 30%.” What’s more, it said that “53% of buyers who paid more than $750,000 for their homes made offers without seeing the house first.” All the more reason for us to ensure that our on-line listings are plentiful and professional with lots of detailed information, photos and videos.

Since our Multiple Listing Service requires that listings be posted in the MLS within 24 hours of receipt, teammate Dave takes our initial photos usually within hours of receiving a new listing. Then professional photographer Jim Anderson with JMA Photography follows Dave as soon as his schedule permits. Jim takes more photos, prepares streaming videos, and films aerials (by helicopter or plan) as appropriate. Having lots of photos, sometimes taken on different days, gives us a good variety for marketing and has made the difference in our listings selling “sight unseen”.

Free Admission Tomorrow to Wildlife Drive

Ding Darling signBecause tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 26, is National Public Lands Day, J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge is granting free admission to Wildlife Drive to everyone and there is a special treat for fourth-grade students.

Fourth-graders and their home-school equivalents can check in at the front desk in the Visitor and Education Center and receive a free Every Kid in a Park Pass that is good for free admission to every U.S. National Wildlife Refuge like ‘Ding’ Darling, every U.S. National Park like The Everglades or Yellowstone, national forests and other public lands, from now through August 2016.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Seven federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as non-profit groups in state and local governments pitch in. Locally, ‘Ding’ Darling celebrates the fourth anniversary of its Kick the Bottle initiative to rid the refuge of the disposable plastic bottles that have become a scourge to the environment, as evidenced by the number of them picked up in last weekend’s annual Coastal Cleanup.

ding darling gooseWildlife Drive is open Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for free touring. The Visitor and Education Center, which is free, opens its doors at 9 a.m. when fourth grade students can start getting their Every Kid in a Park passes. Fourth graders can take their completed voucher to the Wildlife Drive fee booth for their pass, which also includes free admission year-long for accompanying siblings up to age 15, and up to three accompanying adults.

The Refuge mascot, the Blue Goose, will be bopping about from 1-3 p.m., checking everybody out and posing for pictures.

Changes Coming to Busy Periwinkle Way/Casa Ybel Intersection

Pedestrian-Crossing-Sign-K-6534On Tuesday, Sanibel City Council passed two resolutions for two easements, one on each side of Casa Ybel Road that will create collection areas for pedestrians and bicyclists waiting to cross Periwinkle to Jerry’s Shopping Center.

Made possible by a cooperative agreement between Sanibel and businesses Mango Bay and Bank of the Islands, the plans for the intersection, one of Sanibel’s busiest, are supported by the Sanibel Bicycle Club and Jerry’s Market. Both have worked with the City on the project.

bike riderAs part of the project, the existing crosswalk across Periwinkle on the east side of the intersection will be removed. The crosswalk will be moved to the west side of the intersection. Statistics show that this will reduce congestion and improve safety at the intersection. Foot and bike traffic coming west along the Shared Use Path will wait to cross Casa Ybel in the small holding area to be created at Bank of the Islands. Once across Casa Ybel, the new pull-off area at Mango Bay will serve the same purpose for those waiting to cross Periwinkle on the new crosswalk.

Weather permitting, the work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

The Clam Shack is Open

The Clam ShackI have heard lots of compliments this week from first-time visitors to Sanibel’s newest dining establishment. The Crab Shack opened on Monday in the former location of Greenhouse Grill at 2407 Periwinkle Way.

Serving New England seafood with every meal cooked to order, they are open at 11:30 a.m. & serve both lunch and dinner, plus take-out.

The menu runs the gamut from appetizers of stuffed quahogs and steamers – and clam chowdah and lobster bisque – to sandwiches and dinners with fish, scallops, shrimp, oysters, lobster, and fried clams with bellies! It has not passed the Maine girl test yet, but I hope to try it out soon.

2016 Projections by Realtors’ Chief Economist

NAR gray-logoColleague and friend, Sherri Meadows, 2014 President of Florida Realtors® today is attending a National Association of Realtors® Broker Summit that is just wrapping up in Charlotte, NC.

She posted the following social media message today:

“We cannot relax in the U.S. just because the dollar is strengthening, we are the cleanest shirt in the dirty clothes basket”, said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist and Sr. VP of Research during his delivery of trends and predictions today at the NAR Broker Summit. Lower gas prices, modest reduction in jobs, weaknesses in China, increased foreign investment, rising rents and lower vacancy rates, inventory shortages and pent up demand for new construction, and credit scoring changes will all have a positive impact on the economic outlook for 2016. Thank you Lawrence for a very entertaining and insightful presentation today!”

Lenders Return to Commercial

realtor logoI read more from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in the September/October “Realtor®” magazine. His track record on the market is always “spot on”. Good positive economic news in his article which says, in part:

“It took a while, but commercial real estate transactions are finally gaining traction. Realtors® who specialize in commercial deals are reporting a solid 35% increase in transactions over the past 12 months. Recovery time following a recession is typically 18 to 24 months, but his cycle lasted four years. It was a hard punch. Business has bounced back and, fortunately, should remain brisk.

“The improving economy and an improved lending environment are the primary reasons for the gains. A net increase of 12 million jobs from the low point five years ago has boosted demand for office, retail, warehouse, and industrial spaces. That’s helping to push down vacancy rates and push up rents in all sectors.

“But it is the second factor – lending – that is making the biggest difference. In our latest survey of commercial practitioners, 42% said they’re seeing credit easing, while only 20% said they’re seeing stricter conditions. The responses are vastly different from the last few years, when nearly all respondents reported greater difficulties in obtaining credit to get their deals done.

“And yet hurdles remain. A large number of commercial practioners continue to see their cllients’ deals hamstrung by tight credit requirements (albeit less tight than what they previously experienced). Of those whose clients managed to obtain financing, more than half had to put down at least 30%.

“There’s a reason for these challenges. Most practioners are engaged in deals of $1 million or less, and their clients rely mostly on lending from local community banks, not from Wall Street or large financial institutions. Commercial loans don’t carry government backing – regardless of their size. Therefore, lenders proceed with extreme caution.

“That absence of government guarantees is why it took so long for the sector to recover. This is a good reminder of the importance of the FHA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regarding credit flow as well as the advocacy role of the National Association of Realtors®. Think of how much more quickly the residential sector recovered after the slowdown – thanks to government backing of those federal entities. Yes, commercial lending has faced a slower recovery, but with community lenders not getting back into the sector, it’s a good bet we’ll see continued strengthening.”

Above and beyond the improvement in the economy, how does this commercial market relate to Sanibel and Captiva you might ask? Because our area is so small, some island Realtors® sell both residential and commercial real estate. Our Multiple Listing Service covers both and I got an inquiry just this week about one of the only three commercial listings for sale here today. It has been many years that just that few have been available on the islands. There are none on Captiva.

The three on Sanibel include a retail gift shop on Palm Ridge Road, an office condo in Anchor Pointe plaza on Periwinkle Way, and a free-standing retail building also on Periwinkle. Through the years, I have sold several commercial island properties, including two large hotels/motels. Like most communities, Sanibel’s Land Development Code has specifics regarding commercial property. There is good info on and the Code is on-line at

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 18-25



4 new listings: Blind Pass #F106 2/2 $495K, Lighthouse Pointe #221 3/2 $589K, Sundial East #L402 2/2 $769K, Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 $899K (our listing).

1 price change: Sundial West #H411 1/1 now $269.9K.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 listed at $485K.

1 closed sale: Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 $605K.


2 new listings: 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $749K, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 $1.349M.

1 price change: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 now $699.9K.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $700K, 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $760K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $745K, 2999 Twin Lakes Ln 4/3.5 $810K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $569K.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings.

1 price change: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.645M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 listed at $580K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #1A 3/2.5 $1.53M.


No new listings: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.675M.

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.)

Sun clip artNext Friday it will be October; until then, here’s hoping your summer weather continues too…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sun Peeking Out After a Rare Rainy Week on Sanibel Island

To say, it has been a rainy week on Sanibel could be an understatement. The last partially sunny skies were on Monday morning when our teammate and Listing Coordinator, Elise attended the local Association of Realtors® annual 14-hour continuing education classes which included an environmental segment where attendees traveled by boat through Pine Island Sound and the estuary.

sccfTaught by Kristie Anders, SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Director of Education, here are a few of Elise’s photos.

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Heavy rain continued off-and-on since Tuesday with minor flooding – ankle-deep at Sanibel Square today. We look forward to clearing for the weekend, the sun is peeking out now. Bet it will be great shelling in the days ahead.

I attended our monthly Realtor® Membership Meeting yesterday. Details on that and a few news items are provided below, including the activity posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Good News for Sanibel Residents

Sanibelcityseal logoDuring last Saturday’s first budget hearing, Sanibel City Council approved the operating millage rate for fiscal year 2016 at last year’s rolled-back rate of 1.9139 mills. In the FY2016 tentative budget report, taxable property values – influenced by property sales during calendar year 2014 – rose nearly 5%. It is important to note that the operating millage rate is the lowest it’s been over the past 10 years.

Other highlights in the proposed budget include an increase in sewer and reclaimed water rates (discussed below). The City’s final budget hearing will be this coming Tuesday, Sep 22 at 5:01 p.m.

Sanibel Sewer Rates to Raise 3 Percent

According to the “Santiva-Chronicle”, “A 3% increase in water rates and water reclamation fees was approved unanimously by the Sanibel City Council Saturday, Sep 12, in the council’s monthly meeting at City Hall.

“The increases will take effect Oct 1. The monthly rate for residential customers will raise from $56.50 to $58.20 and the quarterly rates goes to $174.60 from $169.50. For commercial customers the rate raises from $8.49 to $8.74 per 1,000 gallons. The sewer connection fees raise from $4,134.43 to $4,258.46.

“The raises were recommended by the city’s Finance Department based on the Sewer Expansion Feasibility Study update of 2014 by GAI Consultants Inc. It calls for a minimum of a 3% raise annually. That’s consistent with the Sanibel Municipal Code that provides for an annual automatic rate increase of 3%….”

sundial-logoWhat’s Happening at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

The Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting yesterday was held at Sundial where the management staff was introduced. Recent resort improvements were announced and Realtors® were updated on their new rental agreement. Here is some of the info that was included in their handouts:

New rental agreement that increases owners’ shares – It’s an exciting time for Sundial Beach Resort & Spa condo owners after an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation. In addition to experiencing new amenities, owners are seeing measurable benefits in the form of increased rent revenue. We’ve come a long way and we plan to continue making improvements to the resort to provide owners & guests the ultimate Sanibel Island experience.

Latest enhancements

  • Interest free improvements for the first 25 properties that join
  • Airfare for 2 on your next trip to Sundial (up to $1000) or $1000 Matter Brothers credit
  • $1000 Resort food & beverage credit
  • Complimentary exclusive Resort Membership
  • 15% off of food & beverage during the term of the rental agreement with Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
  • New rental agreement to increase owner revenue share

2016 55% to owner

2017 56% to owner

2018 60% to owner

  • Renovation of Turtle’s Pool & Beach Bar
  • Addition of Japanese Steakhouse
  • Full renovated meeting space
  • Onsite reservation agents
  • New upscale lobby & enhanced public space”

For more info on these benefits contact Cara Pennetti at or call 239-395-6026.

Owner Membership Options – Sundial owners also have a variety of membership options, the membership hand-out describes the following types of membership:

“Social Membership is complimentary to All Sundial Owners. It includes:

  • Charging privileges at Sea Breeze, Turtles Pool Bar & other resort on-property dining outlets
  • Priority seating & invitations to special events, holidays & promotions
  • 10% spa discounts at on-site location
  • Retail discount at on-site location
  • Exclusive food & beverage promotions & offers
  • 20% room discounts from best available rate for guests

Activities Membership

Annual fee for Sundial owner family $5,000

Annual fee for Royal Shell Vacations owner family $3,000

Weekly access fee for Royal Shell Vacations guest: adults & children 13 & up: $150; children 6-12: $75; children 5 & under: free

Activities membership includes all of the social membership benefits shown above plus:

  • 10% food & beverage discount in all outlets
  • At Port Sanibel Marina – 10% off charter trips; 15-20% off canoe, kayak, & power boat rentals; $12/ft wet slips
  • Up to 20% off best available rates at Big Bear Frontier (California), Holiday Inn & Roberts Convention Center (Ohio), The Park on Main (North Carolina), & Misty Mountain Cottages (North Carolina)
  • 20% off greens fees at Golden Ocala (Florida) & 10% off rental rates
  • Complimentary fitness classes
  • Discounted Sanibel Buddies Kids’ Camp & activities
  • Access to beach chairs & umbrellas
  • Access to pool, pool chaises & towels
  • Access to bicycles, kayaks, & paddleboards
  • Complimentary Ding Darling membership
  • Access to resort Fitness Center

Tennis Membership

Annual fee for Sundial owner single $1,500

Annual fee for Sundial owner family $2,000

Annual fee for Royal Shell Vacations owner single $1,200

Annual fee for Royal Shell Vacations owner family $1,500

Court access $10 per 90-minute intervals

Tennis membership includes all of the social & activities membership benefits shown above plus:

  • 7-day advanced tennis court reservations
  • Access to tennis courts
  • Discounted events
  • Discounted tennis clinics
  • Discounted tennis lessons
  • Discounted guest tennis court fees
  • Complimentary racquet & ball use
  • Discounted round robins
  • Court match play

Exclusive Resort Membership is complimentary to Sundial Resort Rental Program owners. It includes all of the above plus:

  • Sundial membership at Sanibel Island Gulf Club
  • Complimentary greens fees
  • Local reciprocity (May 1 to Oct 31)
  • 10% discount on golf lessons
  • 10% discount on golf shop apparel
  • 5-day advanced tee times
  • Access to leagues with upgrade”

For more info, contact the membership department at 239-395-6020 or email

This Isn’t a Housing Bubble: Here’s Why

CNBC_Logo_FlatInteresting article posted on-line yesterday on “Realtor®Mag”, also sourced to “Frothy, Yes, But Don’t Call It a Housing Bubble,” CNBC (Sep 15).

“Home prices are rising rapidly, but economists are deflating concerns that another “housing bubble” is brewing.

core logic logo“A recent report from CoreLogic shows that twice as many metro markets are considered “overvalued” – prices are inflated relative to incomes — in the second quarter of this year compared to the first three months of the year. But economists say it’s not a housing bubble because bubbles eventually burst and home prices this time around aren’t likely to fall.

“”Just because you’re overvalued doesn’t mean that you’re in a bubble or there is an impending crash,” says Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s deputy chief economist. “Some markets are overvalued because of strong fundamentals.”

realtor logo“The National Association of REALTORS® reported that the national median sales price is now above its 2006 peak. The median existing-home price for all housing types reached $236,400 in June – 6.5% above year ago levels and surpassing the peak median sales price set in July 2016 at $230,400, according to NAR.

“CoreLogic’s recent report shows that home prices in 14 of the largest 100 markets have now risen above its long-term fundamental values – with six of these markets in Texas alone. Housing demand is strong and supply has been near record lows, which has paved the way for price increases among the state’s strong economy.

“About 10 years ago, a housing bubble was being fueled by free and easy mortgage credit – not the case today, CNBC reports. Today, strong demand and weak supply is driving the rise in prices.

“”Agents continue to highlight buyers’ growing frustration with rising prices, but see current levels largely supported by tight inventory conditions,” according to a monthly survey of real estate professionals by Credit Suisse.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 11-18



1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #822 2/2 $499K (our listing).

3 price changes: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 now $384.9K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $719K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $729K.

3 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 listed at $499K, Cottage Colony West #110 1/1 listed at $639K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 listed at $2.395M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #H211 1/1 $250K, Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 $301K, Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 $410K, Sundial #O201 2/2 $660K (our listing), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 2/2.5 $755K.


5 new listings: 2065 Wild LIme Dr 3/2.5 $579K, 426 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $669K, 1405 Jamaica Dr 3/2.5 $839K, 5436 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $989K, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.079M.

2 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549,499; 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $1.595M.

2 new sales: 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.079M, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 listed at $1.185M.

3 closed sales: 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 $700K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 4/3.5 $810K, 1041 Blue Heron Dr 3/2.5 $815K.


1 new listing: 1204 Par View Dr $329K.

1 price change: 4988 Joewood Dr now $475K.

2 new sales: 971 Main St listed at $199K, 1243 Par View Dr listed at $349K.

No closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 listed at $284.5K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 $8.5M.

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.)

Until next Friday, here’s hoping the sun is shining everywhere! sun & rain

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan