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, www.SanibelSusan.com.

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 (www.housedetective.com).

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 iLoveShelling.com (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 www.mySanibel.com and the Code is on-line at https://www.municode.com/library/fl/sanibel

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 cara.pennetti@sundialresort.com 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 membership@sundialresort.com.

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

Just Another Fabulously Sunny Friday on Sanibel Island

Photo by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, taken in front of Compass Point

Photo by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, taken in front of Compass Point

It is another sunny Friday on Sanibel Island with more local temporary closings, vacations, and construction projects ongoing. Everyone is getting ready for “season”. We are ready NOW.

Sanibel realtors logoThe Association of Realtors® did not have a Caravan meeting yesterday, but next Thursday is our monthly membership meeting and it will be at Sundial Resort.

sundial-logoA good time for me to remind attendees about our listings there.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It was a slow week, with just three sales on Sanibel (a condo, a home, a lot) and none on Captiva.

Island Scuttlebutt

Center 4 Life Maintenance Closure – It’s that time of the year. The Center 4 Life will be closed from September 14 through 18 to complete numerous maintenance projects.

clam-bake-logoClam Shack on Sanibel – Many original northerners (like me) looking for authentic New England seafood make the occasional summer off-island road trip to The Clam Bake which is a hidden gem down Rte 41 in Island Park Shopping Center. Recent news is that they will be opening a sister restaurant on Sanibel called The Clam Shack at 2407 Periwinkle Way (former location of Greenhouse Grill). Fingers crossed here that the menu includes fried clams with bellies!

Farmers Market Brussels Sprouts

Market organizer Jean Baer with Brussell sprouts on the vine

Sanibel Farmers MktFarmers’ Market Reopening October 4 – “It’s the Best Thing Growing” – Going into its 8th year, island gals Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura advise that the Sanibel Farmers’ Market will reopen on Sunday October 4 and continue weekly from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. through April 24 on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. It’s hard to believe that the market started as a trial at Tahitian Gardens in 2008 with just 20-some vendors and has now expanded to about 50 vendors. It definitely is the place to visit with neighbors and stock up for the week! Jean and Betsy’s company “Local Roots LLC” now has other market locations too. Wednesdays at Fenway South Jet Blue Stadium in Fort Myers, Thursdays at Coconut Point in Estero, Fridays at Lakes Park in Fort Myers, plus two Saturday locations at The Promenade in Bonita Springs and Florida Southwestern Campus in Fort Myers. Each market offers a unique opportunity for local vendors to sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, nursery stock, and other commodities. Some of the markets also showcase local crafters products. See more info at www.BuyLocalLee.com.

Pointe Santo Beach ChairsPointe Santo – Rumor has it that the spalling work in progress at Pointe Santo’s gulf-front “E” building has expanded into several balconies, requiring their complete removal, so the building maintenance block has been extended from the end of Sept to early Nov. That is causing a bit of an inconvenience for the rental managers with tenants booked then. Once the “E” building work is done, the contractor is moving on to the other gulf-front building “A”. Fingers crossed that the condition there is better.

aerial_sanibel_boat_ramp_300x222Sanibel Public Boat Ramp on Sextant Drive – is getting some routine maintenance, but one half of the dock will remain open during the construction period. Work should be complete by September 18.

SCCF Oyster Restoration – Did you know that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab recycles oyster shells from three local restaurants, The Fish House, The Lazy Flamingo II, and Timbers? Since they began recycling almost a year ago, over 24,000 pounds of shell have been kept out of landfills going back into the bay.sccf marine lab headerFour Things You Should Never Do To Your Home

sanibel air logoThe below article was posted in today’s edition of the “Island Sun”. It was written by Sanibel air conditioning contractor, Bryan Hayes (Sanibel Air), who also co-owns an island electric business with his brother, Todd. The article is a tad tongue-in-cheek, but actually offers some good advice.

“There are four things I suggest that you should never do to your home. They are:

  1. Work On Your Own Plumbing – First off, because I absolutely hate plumbing work, I can work on A/C and electrical all day long, but ask me to change the smallest plumbing thing and I’m at the hardware store 15 times before I even start. Not to mention the disaster that could result. Trust me, it’s cheaper to hire a plumber.
  2. Don’t Do Your Own Electrical – This might sound like it’s self-serving, but think about it this way. Think about what you do or did for a living. Now, imagine the average person trying to do what you did. Let’s say you were a boat mechanic. Would you go out on a boat that the average Joe repaired, with little or no experience? Again, it’s usually always better and safer to hire the right professional.
  3. Don’t Do Your Own A/C Repair – Please change your filters, but when it comes to the rest, see 1 and 2 above.
  4. Don’t Leave Your Home for More Than a Day Without Turning the Water Off – If you are going away, turn your water off. The damage that can result from leaking pipes is incredible. I was at a home that the occupants had left for a long weekend; a pipe had burst on the 3rd floor, and the damage to this home looked like a bomb went off.

“So, I covered four things to never do to your home. But please, for the sake of your family, check your smoke detectors on a monthly basis. Smoke detectors save lives, but only when they are working. A good way to remember is to check them is every time you pay your electric bill.”

Properties Listed by Experienced Agents

Florida Realtors logoHere’s an interesting statistic that was posted in “Florida Realtor®” September magazine:

“Properties listed by veteran agents (10 years or more experience) sell for approximately 2% more and do so 32% faster than those listed by new agents. Source: “The Impact of Agent Experience on the Real Estate Transaction,” Bennie D. Waller & Ali Jubran, Journal of Housing Research”

I’ve been licensed for 26 years and my team and I have been together since 1999. Elise also became licensed in 2003, Lisa in 2007, and Dave in 2012. We’ve got a lot of experience together and hope we too get the job done better and sooner.

About Zillow and Trulia

BradfordZillowCartoonSince April, Zillow and Trulia are no longer receiving direct feeds of real estate listings from ListHub. Prior to April, ListHub had been a primary source of listing syndication. (Syndication commonly refers to an agreement between a broker and a 3rd-party to advertise the broker’s listings on non-MLS web sites.)

Zillow Group has been in discussion with Florida MLS’s (Multiple Listing Services) to identify ways listings may or may not continue to be sent to Zillow and Trulia. Some agreements will result in data continuing to be supplied to the Zillow Group sites; however, each agreement is different.

The Sanibel and Captiva Association of Realtors® (where I am a primary member) and their MLS do NOT syndicate or sell their data, so island property searches and calculations performed through Zillow and Trulia often are erroneous.

Because of my secondary membership with the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and The Beach, SanibelSusan Realty listings may be syndicated through them and they are, unless a Seller advises that they do not want their property advertised by a third party.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 4-11



3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 $499K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $535K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 $679K.

1 price change: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $624.9K.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #B101 2/2 listed at $449K.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 $720K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 $790K.


1 new listing: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $599K.

1 price change: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549,749.

1 new sale: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $330K.

3 closed sales: 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $600K, 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $705K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 $800K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Sabal Sands Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 2142 Starfish Ln listed at $399K.

1 closed sale: 1429 Albatross Rd $234.5K.



1 new listing: Marina Villas #904 2/2 $665K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


2 new listings: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.195M, 16560 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 $7M.

1 price change: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $5.9M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes for a sunny weekend to all! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel sunset 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Photo courtesy of Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Anderson, JMA Photography


It is Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan) reporting that it has been another quiet week on the Islands. We breathed a sigh of relief when Tropical Storm Erika dissipated last weekend and didn’t bring much rain to Sanibel and Captiva.

Weather for the long holiday weekend beginning today is expected to be typical of late summer with temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s and 20 to 40% chance of rain. The gorgeous summer sunsets continue, but island occupancy is down as it usually is in September.

Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® MLS over the last seven days.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThis week, several of our listings had showings, I met with owners about future listings, and we worked on several fall marketing projects.

Yesterday, we had an Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting. Attendance was light and only three properties were on caravan (one our new listing at Compass Point). No new listings were announced and no price reductions.

Much of the meeting chatter was about inventory. It has been another good year for island real estate sales, making some wonder if we will have enough real estate to sell this winter. Here is an update of that inventory:


  • Condos – just 76 for sale with 121 sold/closed this year & another 14 under contract. Average sale price up 5% over last year when 165 condos sold.
  • Homes – just 89 for sale with 188 sold/closed this year & another 26 under contract. Average sale price up 6% over last year when 206 homes sold.
  • Lots – 65 for sale with 34 sold/closed this year & another 4 under contract. Average sale price down 5% over last year when 27 lots sold.


  • Condos – just 38 for sale with 28 sold/closed this year & another one under contract. Average sale price up 45% (because most of the sales this year were high-end condos at Lands End Village). Last year 22 condos sold.
  • Homes – just 39 for sale with 19 sold/closed this year & another one under contract. Average sale price up 14% over last year when 23 homes sold.
  • Lots – just 3 for sale with 2 sold/closed this year & another 2 under contract. None sold last year.

(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.)

sancap GO MLS logoOne more Association of Realtors® meeting is scheduled in September, then two in October before we go back to the “season” schedule of every Thursday morning, with Caravans alternating between east-end and west-end properties. Listed properties are allowed on Caravan only once in a 6-month period.

Over 10-Year View, Home Sales Are Strong

realtor logoIt is not just here where inventory is down. The below article was posted Tuesday on-line at “Daily Real Estate News”:

“The National Association of REALTORS® finds that July 2015 existing-home sales are markedly higher than the 10-year July average. The 10-year average is an average of the data from the past 10 July months.

“Regionally, the Northeast was the only area of the country slightly below its 10-year average, while all other regions showed stronger sales. The Midwest and South were up above average by more than 15% and the West has risen 9%, according to NAR.

“The median home price is also higher than the 10-year average. In its 10-year review, NAR says home prices nationally began to drop in 2006 in some regions and 2007 nationally but did not see the biggest drop until around 2009.

“”The trend for median home prices turned around completely in 2012, all regions and the U.S. saw their lowest July median price in 2011,” NAR notes on its blog Economists’ Outlook. Since then, home prices have been on the rise.

“A shortage of homes for-sale continues to persist in the current market. There are fewer homes available for sale this July than the 10-year July average.

“”In 2005, the U.S. had the fastest pace of homes sold relative to the inventory taking 4.6 months,” NAR notes. “In 2010, the U.S. had the slowest pace taking 11.9 months to sell the supply of homes on the market.” The 10-year July average in supply is 7.7 compared to this July, which is at a 4.8-month supply.”

Another Annual Renovation Project – “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center

Ding Darling signRenovations begin on September 8 to the entrance and front-desk area of the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center. During the two weeks that it will take to complete the improvements, the Center will remain open with visitors redirected to another entrance.

NAR Survey: Realtors® Plan to Extend Closing Dates

Florida Realtors logoFollowing up on my blog posting last week about the upcoming federally-mandated changes regarding real estate closings for residential property with mortgages, the article below was posted on-line this week on FloridaRealtors®.

“A new National Association of Realtors® (NAR) survey finds that more than 50% of real estate agents plan to extend sales contracts and build in more time for closings due to the Oct. 3 implementation of new mortgage disclosures.

“Currently, the HUD-1 settlement form can be revised and delivered up to the day of settlement. By contrast, the new Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) that goes into effect Oct. 3 must be finalized and in the borrower’s hands three days prior to closing.

“Failure to meet that deadline can result in a re-issuance of the closing disclosure and another three-day waiting period.

“”When asked about their plans to deal with the new TRID rules, 55.9% of Realtors plan to change their purchase agreements to reflect a longer timeline, while 31.2% will add contingencies to the contract,” says NAR based on the research.

“Florida Realtors plans to update its contracts on Sept. 28, 2015, in preparation for the October change. The association currently has the updated contracts posted online in a redline version that graphically shows the changes.

“The poll did not specifically ask how long a Realtor would extend a sales contract, and there appears to be no consensus on the issue. “Based on a handful of anecdotes, some (Realtors) are adding 15 days to a 30-day contract and others are opting for the 60-day contract,” says Ken Fears, NAR’s director of regional economics and housing finance. The NAR study also found that 82% of agents have taken some type of training to prepare for the TRID regime that takes effect Oct. 3….”

Good News About Lake O – Local Estuary Sitting at Good Levels

Everglades-Map-historical-WEBBelow is some positive news about the rainy season this year, as posted in the “Santiva Chronicle” on Wednesday:

“A little more rain is needed, but Lake Okeechobee is at an acceptable level right now, which is good news for Sanibel Island and its estuary.

““For the majority of this year’s rainy season flows have been within the optimal range for the estuary,” James Evans, Sanibel Natural Resources director, said regarding the balance between fresh and salt water.

Sanibelcityseal logoThis balance has been maintained although rainfall on the east side of the state has been much lower than in Southwest Florida. The Southwest Florida Water Management District, which oversees the water resources in the southern half of Florida in 16 counties from Orlando to the Keys, reported Tuesday, Sept. 1, that the remnants of tropical systems Danny and Erika helped lift August rainfall to near average in much of the district.

““The Army Corps of Engineers tries to maintain Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. Right now it’s at 13.08 feet. It has come up about a half-foot in the past week,” Evans said. “That’s a good thing,” he said. “The lake is 1.38 feet below where it was last year, but it is well within the management band that the Corps of Engineers would like to maintain.

““We would like to see the level of the lake come up a bit more before the end of the rainy season so that we have water for supplemental flows to the estuaries and to make sure that all the urban and agricultural needs can be met, but it is trending in the right direction.”

“Despite several days of rain at the end of the month, Martin, St. Lucie, Broward and Miami-Dade counties all got less than average rainfall in August.

sccf“Evans said the city and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation are watching flows coming into the local estuary from the Caloosahatchee watershed and those flows “are a bit higher than we would like to see.” “More rain out over the lake between now and October without an excess amount falling within the local watershed would be ideal,” Evans, who recently coauthored a comprehensive report on the Caloosahatchee watershed for the city, said.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 28-September 4



1 new listing: Village of Sanibel #R1 3/2.5 $449K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #H303 2/2 listed at $589K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 listed at $1.089M.

3 closed sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 $210K, Captains Walk #C7 1/1 $205K, Captains Walk #F3  2/1.5 $278K.


4 new listings: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 $330K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $895K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 $1.1M, 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1.25M.

4 price changes: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $539K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex now $559.5K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 4/3 duplex now $689K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $875K.

4 new sales: 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $479K, 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $547K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $679.9K, 1537 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 listed at $829K.

4 closed sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $585K, 0 Sea Pines 3/2 $849K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $915K, 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 $1.5M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 9232 Dimmick Dr now $235K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1815 Ardsley Way $185K.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 17050 Captiva Dr 3/3 $4.9M.

1 price change: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.9499M

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

LaborDaySignHappy Labor Day Weekend!

Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

Dodging Summer Storms & Wonderful Sunsets on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Florida Realtors logoFollowing the Florida Realtors 2015 Convention, The SanibelSusan Team and I are back into the swing of things on Sanibel. Though the islands are pretty quiet now – sometimes no cars passing by on Periwinkle Way – we all will be anxiously watching the weather this weekend hoping that Tropical Storm Erika heads away from Florida. Heavy but occasional showers this week have “greened” the island up, while there have been reports of minor flooding in some of the heavily traveled areas off island.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoWe are happy to report that though there was only one new listing on Sanibel this week, it was a new condo listing at SanibelSusan Realty.

A few of our listings had good showings this week too, but not much sales action was reported. Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Barrier-Island-Title-Web-bannerToday we had an advance signing for an upcoming closing. Barrier Island Title Services, Inc. who holds our company escrows and performs most of SanibelSusan’s closings, usually, with notice, can prepare closing documents in advance. In this case, the sellers’ signing coincided with their last island visit before the actual closing date. The sale will not officially occur until later, but signing ahead eliminates the need for a mail-away for that half of the sale. Thanks to Barrier’s Closing Officer Angie Martin for facilitating this convenience.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® held its August membership breakfast meeting yesterday. Members were updated on the leadership team’s meetings in Orlando last week and the educational segment of the meeting included a presentation by Board Certified Real Estate Attorney Ned Hale on the new Consumer Protection Financial Bureau Rules that become effective October 3. Known as the Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule, here are some highlights.

Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule

Federally-mandated changes affect residential sales with mortgage financing and apply to any loan application taken by a lender on or after October 3. They are the result of the Dodd-Frank-Act of 2010.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an entity created by the Dodd Frank Act, issued a new Truth in Lending Act (TILA) final regulation that, among other things, created two new forms (each with many variations) and new 3-business day delivery requirements.

Beyond possibility adding more time to the window from contract to closing, the changes also involve new terminology. For example, a new form called the “Loan Estimate” replaces the former Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Initial Truth-in-Lending Disclosure (TIL). More importantly, a new “Closing Disclosure” will replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and Final Truth-in-Lending Disclosure (TIL).

Under the new rule, the consumer is required to receive the new “Loan Estimate” three business days after application. What constitutes application? 1. Consumer’s name, 2. Consumer’s income, 3. Consumer’s social security number, 4. A property address, 5. An estimate value of the property, 6. The mortgage loan amount sought. The “Loan Estimate” will be issued by the lender or mortgage broker.

The consumer also is required to receive the new “Closing Disclosure” three business days before the closing or when the loan is consummated. The “Closing Disclosure” will be issued by the lender or settlement agent if the lender delegates that responsibility to them.

How is this going to impact a Realtor® and their business?

  • Closings may take longer because of the 3-business day review periods.
  • Different forms will be used for most transactions.
  • Realtor® contact information and license numbers will be on the new “Closing Disclosure”.
  • Buyers may receive multiple “Loan Estimates” due to changed circumstances, multiple applications, or multiple applications with different loan products with the same lender.
  • Clients may receive multiple “Closing Disclosures”, some with a three business-day waiting period and some without, and some before closing and some after.

Like all new rules, there will be a learning curve, but I think that we can assume that the closing process will take longer if there is a mortgage. If a transaction, with bank financing, normally would take 30-45 days to close, it likely will take longer. If expenses are to be included on a “Closing Disclosure”, the lender and the title company will need the invoices well in advance of the closing date. Contact information for home- and condo-owners associations will need to be provided earlier too. Realtor® communication will remain key, particularly with lenders and title companies regarding any potential delays, out-of-state signings, powers-of-attorney, or seller credit adjustments. Getting from contract to closing always takes Realtor® attention and diligence – but after October 3, it will be even more important.

Upcoming Realtor Events

Wondering what local Realtors® are doing to help the community? Many of us have marked our calendars for the upcoming events.

  • SCCF logoCoastal Clean-up – Sep 19 – Realtor® teams will participate in this world-wide Coastal Clean-up event which here is organized by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation).
  • Habitat for Humanity – Date TBD in Sep – In May, Sanibel Realtors® prepped and painted a new Habitat for Humanity home in San Carlos Park. It was especially rewarding because the Mom, who with her children would be moving into the home, worked hand-in-hand. A date for some new home building tasks soon will be assigned to Sanibel’s Realtors®.Habitat_for_humanity logo
  • Meals of Hope – Date TBD in Nov – Meals of Hope is a local non-profit that arranges for the packaging of nutritional meals by volunteers. The food packages then are distributed by accredited food bank partners. Last summer, Elise and I joined other real estate association colleagues from Southwest Florida in one of these food packaging events in Bonita Springs where over 20,000 meals were put together in an afternoon. Many of these meals went to children and their families who were not getting school-provided meals because of the summer school break. meals of hopeSince its start in 2007, Meals for Hope has packaged and distributed more than 27 million meals. The upcoming Sanibel/Captiva Islands Realtor® event will be held at the association’s meeting room where we hope to package at least 5,000 meals.
  • american heart logoHeart Walk – January 31 – Realtors® again will participate in this early-2016 fundraiser where the Sanibel/Captiva Heart Walk goal is to raise $50K for the American Heart and American Stroke Associations.

Where to Dine in September?

diningIf you are planning to be on the island next month, remember that is when many of the local restaurants and stores perform their annual housekeeping and repairs, while many employees get well-deserved vacations. Here are a few of the temporary closings that we heard about this week.

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro – Closes after dinner on tomorrow (8/29) and will be closed the month of September.
  • Over Easy Café – Will be closed for just ten days, September 14-24.
  • Traders Café & Store – Closes after dinner on tomorrow (8/29) and will be closed most of September (until 9/29). They will, however, be open for dinner the evening of September 28 from 5 to 9 p.m. for the annual Celebrity Island Dinner to benefit The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Tickets are required, www.shellmuseum.org

Winter-Weary Home Buyers Heading to Florida

wall street journalThanks, Scott, for sharing the following article from the August 19th “Wall Street Journal”.

“In terms of real estate, the winter of 2014-15 may be the best thing that ever happened…to Florida.

The Sunshine State is No. 2, behind California, in jumbo volume for both primary and secondary homes at Quicken Loans, says Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken, one of the country’s largest jumbo lenders. “When you have got people who get cold in the wintertime, they start thinking about places they would rather be. And that places Florida at the top of the list,” he says.Florida the sunshine state

“In June, sales of single-family homes were up 19.6% and condo sales 14.6% in Florida compared with a year ago, according to Florida Realtors, the state’s largest trade association for residential real-estate professionals.

“The median home-sale price for single-family homes in Florida is $203,500, well under the $417,000 limit for government-backed loans in all but two counties in the state. Driving jumbo lending are markets like Miami Beach, where conforming loans are capped at $417,000 but the median sale price of a bay-front home is $2.7 million and waterfront estates can reach $40 million.

florida“At Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the top metro area in Florida for jumbo lending is Naples-Marco Island, located in Collier County, where the conforming loan limit is $425,000. (The only other county that exceeds the $417,000 limit is Monroe County in the Florida Keys, where conforming loans are capped at $529,000.)

“Other Florida metro areas with high jumbo volume include Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area (median sales price $295,000), North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota ($245,000), Cape Coral-Fort Myers ($212,250) and Jacksonville ($212,000), says Andre Brooks, Florida regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which holds the largest volume of jumbo mortgages in the U.S.

“Lenders say that many borrowers in Florida are retirees moving south or out-of-state residents buying vacation homes. But another big demographic is self-employed entrepreneurs, says Tom Wind, executive vice president of home lending at Jacksonville, Fla.-based EverBank. Small-business owners like the fact that Florida has no state income tax and a business-friendly environment, he adds.

“EverBank also does most of its Florida jumbo lending in the south and southwest coastal regions, with the majority of loans in the $800,000 to $1 million range, Mr. Wind says. “We see a lot of people coming from the Northeast to the east side of Florida, and from the Midwest to the West Coast,” he says.

“Foreign buyers, mostly from France and South America, are also big in the Miami area, where more than half of sales this summer have been cash transactions, says Ines Hegedus-Garcia, an agent with Miami-based RelatedISG International Realty. In hot areas like Miami Beach, home buyers should be prepared for bidding wars and final sale prices above listing prices, she adds. In competitive markets, borrowers are sometimes losing out to cash buyers even when they bid higher.

“Here are a few more tips for Florida jumbo borrowers:

  • Higher down payments. While jumbo mortgages typically require a 20% down payment, some Miami sellers will also make that mandatory even when the buyer’s lender has looser requirements, Ms. Hegedus-Garcia says. “The seller wants to see a stronger buyer,” she adds. Many Florida borrowers put down even more, 30% or 40%, on homes in the $1 million range, Mr. Banfield says.
  • Cash now, finance later. One way that jumbo borrowers compete with cash buyers is to purchase with cash and then refinance a few months later, Mr. Brooks says. Roughly half of Quicken’s Florida jumbos are refinances, Mr. Banfield says.
  • Consider an ARM. About 40% of Wells Fargo’s jumbo mortgages in Florida are adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) compared with only 10% of the general mortgage population, Mr. Brooks says. Quicken also sees a lot of ARM borrowers who aren’t quite at retirement but want to buy a second home. They get a jumbo with low rates for the initial five years, for example, then use the proceeds from the eventual sale of their primary home to pay off the ARM before higher rates kick in, Mr. Banfield says.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 21-28




Compass Point pool

1 new listing: Compass Point #221 2/2 $699K (our listing).

3 price changes: White Caps South #5 1/1 now $520K, Mariner Point #813 2/2 now $549K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.139M.

1 new sale: Sundial B408 1/1 listed at $465K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #H302 2/2 $550K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $720K, Sundial #A301 2/2 $845K, Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 $830K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 now $899K.

2 new sales: 580 Chert Ct 2/2 listed at $580K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 listed at $1.55M.

4 closed sales: 9439 Coventry Ct 2/2 $515K, 1314 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $525K, 1409 Albatross Rd 3/2 $565K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $680K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $205,555.

1 new sale: 247+255 Robinwood Cir listed at $229K.

1 closed sale: 9239 Dimmick Dr $133K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 now $580K.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #1A 3/2.5 listed at $1.55M.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #30 3/2 $2.1M.


1 new listing: 11546/48 Wightman Ln 3/2.5 $3.8M.

1 price change: 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 now $2.29M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 $2.225M.


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 that Erika heads out to sea & misses Florida completely!

Fingers crossed, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Friday at 2015 Florida Realtors Convention

Florida Realtors logoToday’s Friday blog is a little late and comes to you from the Florida Realtors Convention in Orlando. SanibelSusan teammates Elise and David have been covering things on the island this week since I headed north on Tuesday.

I spent all day Wednesday auditioning instructors for state-approved classes. We recommended several which we will vote on in commitee meeting tomorrow.

Yesterday, I attended a variety of technology and broker classses, plus attended the annual Keynote Awards Luncheon with entertainment by funny guitar virtuoso Mike Rayburn. There are some good recordings of him on YouTube.com.

Thanks to Florida Realtors and our convention work with Forms Simplicity, The SanibelSusan Team will be joining the electronic-signature age when I return to the island. Anyone with an email address will be able to sign our listing and sale contracts electronically, from computer, laptop, iPad, or smart phone. It’s pretty cool!

At the awards luncheon yesterday, several pals from Southwest Florida were recognized. Fort Myers Beach Realtor and friend, Cynthia Shafer, was awarded the state 2015 Humanitarian Award. For more than 20 years, Cynthia has volunteered helping children in Southwest Florida. Through the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit’s http://www.Voicesforkids.org, some years ago Cynthia started Beds for Kidz. With her husband, she spends weekends providing beds, sometime for the first time, to children in foster care. It was great to see this humble gal acknowledged for her efforts. Writing a check to Beds for Kidz makes me feel good as I know every penny and then some goes to children, often in dire need.

Today after acting this morning as Education Ambassador for two classes about financing, I attended the General Session where Lengendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz was the motivational speaker. What a great presentation!


The Professionalism Forum met later this afternoon, while tomorrow, I have three more committee meetings (Professional Standards, Professional Development, and Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Forum) before heading back to Sanibel Sunday morning. To say, we come away from these meetings fired-up and inspired is an understatement.

This year our local leadership team convinced several real estate newbies to come to the convention. Great to hear them say “they are glad they came and have learned so much already.” With multiple educational sessions occurring simultaneously all-day every-day for four days, not to mention the numerous forums, subcommitte and committee meetings, everyone here has plenty of opportunity for personal development and business growth. I’ve already collected a couple of referrals.

Elise and Dave prepared the remainder of this update, which includes a new listing we received yesterday. Not a lot of local real estate sales action was reported this week, but our local association has a membership meeting next Thursday, where we hopefully will have more.

All over the state in the other resort markets, reports are that business is brisk, inventory is low, and many are worried that we won’t have enough product to sell this winter. Good news for our listings!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 14-21

1 new listing: Sundial #B206 2/2 $579K (our listing).
1 price change: Tennispalce #E31 2/1.5 now $349.5K.
4 new sales: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 listed at $334,999; Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 listed at $449K; Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 listed at $649K; Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 listed at $720K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #C301 1/1 $282.5K, Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $305K, Oceans Reach #1A4 2/2 $925K (stats only).

2 new listings: 1661 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $535K.
3 price changes: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $469K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $479K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $999K.
5 new sales: 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $675K, 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $805K, 1198 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 listed at $899K, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.54M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 listed at $2.175M.
1 closed sale: 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 $575K.

2 new listings: 5706 Sanibel Captiva Rd $499K, 5048 Joewood Dr $625K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 592 Sea Oats Dr listed at $339K.
No closed sales.

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: Marina Villas #707 2/2 $555K.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M.
1 closed sale: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex $1.75M.

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! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Dog Days of Summer on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

dog-days-of-summer-clip-art-627565It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the dog days of summer continue on Sanibel/Captiva Islands with a big shower this morning. More rain is expected over the weekend and into early next week.

dog days of summerThe humidity is off the charts, but hopefully not for long.

Luckily not many vacationers will be disappointed about the weather, as I understand that beginning tomorrow, it really will be “off-season” with occupancy way down – for the first time since last year at this time. Happens every year when it’s nearly back-to-school time.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoSeveral of our listings had showings this week and we had another nice closing today – both sides (list and sell). Two of our listings got price reductions too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® had a Caravan meeting yesterday (first one in several weeks). Just two new listings were on tour (one of Sanibel, one Captiva), and just a couple of sales were announced which are described in the 7-day report from the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listings Service which follows a couple of news items below.

New Pavilion Constructed at SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve

sccfThis week, the “Island Sun” reported that one of the final remaining projects to be completed at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Bailey Homestead Preserve was the addition of a large open-air pavilion behind the main house.

Here's a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

Here’s a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate Lisa cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

It is nearly completed and “the foundation is looking at a November opening date for the Native Plant Nursery, which will relocate there from its current home along Sanibel-Captiva Road.

“The pavilion is planned as the site for SCCF’s Landscaping for Wildlife program, along with other activities hosted by the nursery….The Bailey Homestead had originally been a row farm, growing crops such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant and other vegetables, until the hurricane of 1926 ruined the island’s rich soil. Later, the site included citrus trees such as orange, grapefruit and lime. The property also includes what members of The Hammerheads call the “Honey House”. Built after the original structure, the small building is where workers would process the row crops and honey farmed onsite.

“Over the next few months, work to be completed at the Bailey Homestead Preserve includes adding final touches to the pavilion, grading of the properties’ pathways and parking areas, installing fencing and finishing the interior layout of the house itself….SCCF will announce the grand opening date for the Bailey Homestead Preserve in the future. For additional info, visit www.sccf.org.”

Lee County Day at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

bailey-mathews shell museum signAugust 20, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lee County adults get half-off museum admission and Lee County kids get in free.

For one day only and sponsored by LCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op), this is a great opportunity to see the WaterVentures Mobile Science Lab.

Yun Joins “Forbes” as Regular Contributor

ForbesAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, it was good news to read the following article about him in yesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, has become a regular contributor to Forbes.com, sharing his latest thoughts on the housing market. He will be posting two to four articles every month related to housing and the economy at Forbes.com.

“Yun’s columns will offer insights into the wide range of research activity he oversees at NAR, including NAR’s existing-home sales statistics, NAR’s Affordability Index, and the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. Yun regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends to NAR’s 1 million REALTOR® members as well as to media outlets across the country.

“In his first column at Forbes.com, Yun highlights the drop in the home ownership rate to a near 50-year low, and how that doesn’t necessarily mean the housing recovery is headed for trouble. “This does not mean that the housing market is in a funk,” Yun writes. “Rather it is quite the opposite, with home sales and home prices rising solidly in recent times. Existing-home sales were up eight% year-to-date to June from the same period a year ago, while new home sales were higher by 21%.”

“The home ownership rate has fallen because of the dwindling number of first-time home buyers and the tightening of mortgage underwriting standards in recent years, he says. The drop in first-time home buyers is the most alarming trend for the housing market, Yun writes.

“In 2014, the first-time home buyer share dropped to 33%, the lowest level in nearly three decades. What’s more, the tighter lending environment has prompted an estimated 1.2 million missing mortgages to would-be qualified borrowers based on historic norms, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute.

“Yun notes the drop in the home ownership rate has caused the country’s wealth distribution to become more unequal today — mostly because the drop in the home ownership rate is occurring at a time of rising home values. “Homeowners and property-owning investors are participating in the housing equity recovery but there are fewer in number,” Yun notes.”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14



No new listings.

1 price change: Sundial #R401 2/2 now $799K (our listing).

1 new sale: Sanddollar #A203 3/2 listed at $1.015M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $225K (our listing & sale).


3 new listings: 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $1.275M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $1.495M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $3.75M.

2 price changes: 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $679.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3.5.5 now $1.35M (our listing).

4 new sales: 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 listed at $639K, 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 listed at $798K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed at $834.9K.

5 closed sales: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 $375K, 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 $510K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $607.5K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 $835K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.575M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $399K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3354 Barra Cir $295K.



3 new listings: Tennis Villas #A205 1/1 $259K, Captiva Shores #1A 3/2/2 $1.55M, Beach Homes #27 5/3 $2.599M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $1.86M.


1 new listing: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $3,999,999.

No price changes, new sales, 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, enjoy your weekend! Here the turtles are still nesting & the baby sea turtles are still hatching! Cheers! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

August Arrives – Summertime on Sanibel & Captiva Island

Redfish Pass between Captiva & North Captiva

Redfish Pass between Captiva & North Captiva

This week, the rainy weather experienced on the islands last week turned around, with hot sunny days in the low 90’s and just an occasional quick shower. If you are here on vacation this week, it’s a winner weather-wise!

school busFlorida schools go back early with teachers in Collier starting on Monday, Lee the following week, so it is pretty much a summer wind-down beginning here. Many condo fall projects already are beginning and restaurants/shop workers are talking about when they will be closing for their pre-season breaks.

Vacation rental bookings have dwindled down too and will continue for the next few weeks until we see the snowbirds start to come back, usually mid-October.

The good news is that although there is not much real estate activity now, the buyers who are here looking, generally are serious.

There was no Realtor® Caravan Meeting this week, but The SanibelSusan Team had a handful of showings and another closing. The activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, follows a couple of news items.

If you are on our mailing list, this week we mailed an island inventory booklet dated July 22, 2015. It is organized by island (Sanibel and Captiva) and property type (condos, homes, lots) and subdivision/complex. Included are the properties for sale and recent sales. If you want to be added to our mailing list, please call 888-603-0603 or 239-471-HOME (4663), or email Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

Where Do Buyers Come From?

Econ outlookThe following comes from the National Association of Realtors® Economists’ Outlook blog on July 15:

“Getting involved in your community once only meant volunteering for a civil group, joining a sports club, or running for local governance. People stayed connected through face to face interactions. In an industry like real estate that thrives on friendly interactions and personal connections, building online communities through websites, social media, and digital communication is now one of the most efficient ways that REALTORS® can build and expand their network to generate new business.

“The majority of business for real estate professionals comes from referrals and repeat business, which makes sense since the industry is built upon personal relationships. At first, the idea of expanding online communities to grow the real estate industry seems like a no-brainer. All businesses these days rely on digital connectivity or they get left behind. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)’s Research department flipped through its survey data to take a deep look at how its members value online communities for their business. Here is what the surveys said:

“The NAR 2015 Member Profile, an in-house survey that gathers demographic data on its 1 million real estate members, reports that:

  • 65% of REALTORS® use social media for their business.
  • 64% said that open houses brought no business.
  • 40% of business for younger agents are from referrals and repeat business and 64% for more experienced agents.

“Naturally, word of mouth remains the largest source of income for NAR members and only grows by the number of years REALTORS® stay in the game. What is interesting to note is that open houses are almost a dead avenue for REALTORS® – they brought two-thirds of NAR members no business. Websites do not appear to bring in new clients on their own. However, two-third of members said they actively use social media as a means to market their brand and showcase their listings.

“The NAR 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR’s profile of the buying and selling process, states that:

The first step in the home-buying process for 43% of home buyers was looking online for properties and 12% looked online for information about how to buy a home.

“Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process and 50% of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.

“Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98% of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.

“Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001. As a frame of reference, in 1964, 61% of buyers contacted agents, 40% read newspaper ads, and seven percent drove around when looking for a home. In 2014, 43% looked for properties online. While the initial process may start online, when buyers seek to make a home purchase, they turn to the advice from a real estate agent that they connected with from a trusted friend or family member.”

Sanibel Considers Increases for Beach Parking, Rec Center Fees

From the “Santiva Chronicle” on Tuesday, August 4, 2015:

Sanibelcityseal logo“Beach parking prices and Recreation Center fees are about to go up on Sanibel. The Sanibel City Council will consider an ordinance at its September meeting that would raise the hourly fee for public beach parking from $3 to $4. Also to be considered at that meeting will be an ordinance that would raise fees for the various programs at the Sanibel Recreation Center in a range up to 20%.

“Both ordinances were proposed at the council’s meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4, as part of ongoing process of finalizing the 2016 fiscal year budget. “It’s important that taxpayers of Sanibel, the ones who are here all the time, not pay for increases in tourism on the island. The tourists should pay,” said Vice-Mayor Mick Denham, who moved to have the parking fee increase come before the council in September in the form of an ordinance. Beach parking fees pay for beach related expenses and Denham said the increase could be used to fund beach erosion projects, security cameras and other improvements.

““Beach parking pays for itself, but the beaches have other issues, like traffic and security,” Councilman Chauncey Goss said. He has advocated an increase in the parking fee since he came on the council this year.

“It’s a supply and demand issue,” Goss said. “If the beach parking lots are always full, then they may not be priced right.” “It’s a user fee, is what it is,” Councilman Marty Harrity said. “Let it pay for itself.” Denham urged that the council take Tuesday’s action in order to get the ordinance in front of the council in September for a first reading.

““Our population hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the number of visitors. It is reasonable to ask visitors to pay,” Denham said following the meeting. “We’ve already got $2.5 million going into our beaches, but that doesn’t pay for all of the expenses. We’ve got to live within our means.”

“Recreation Center – The council, at the urging of Mayor Kevin Ruane, sought ways of saving money at the Recreation Center and in response to that it received a report from Recreation Director Andrea Miller outlining ways to save $121,700. Among them is an across-the-board 10% increase in fees that would raise $60,000 more.

“Instead the council asked for an ordinance to be prepared that would evaluate programs at the Rec Center and determine appropriate increases in each up to 20%. “What programs are being heavily subsidized?” Goss asked. “We should identify those.”

“Presently the year individual rate for a resident is $157.50. A 10% increase would raise that to $173.25 and a 15% increase would take it to $181.13. “This gives us flexibility. Residents will still find that even with increases that our Rec Center is very competitive,” Ruane said.”

NAR Survey Finds Like-Kind Exchanges Promote Job, Economic Growth

realtor logoAccording to a recent press release: “Real estate like-kind exchanges are an important vehicle for disposing of and acquiring properties and support the nation’s financial growth, job creation and economy, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®.

“The Like-Kind Exchanges: Real Estate Market Perspectives 2015 survey of NAR’s commercial and residential members found that real estate investors and commercial property owners place a very high priority on current like-kind exchange tax rules; 40% indicated that transactions would not have occurred in the absence of the tax provision, and 56% said even if the project would have occurred it likely would have been smaller in scale.

“Realtors® are active participants in like-kind exchanges; 63% of Realtors® participated in a like-kind exchange transaction between 2011 and 2015. The survey found that like-kind exchanges in which Realtors® participated created between 10 and 35 new jobs, mostly resulting from spending on building improvements following acquisition.

“”Like-kind exchanges that allow investors and businesses to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of similar properties bring great advantages to investors, real estate markets and the economy,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Realtors® and their clients often look for better economic use of existing properties that are underutilized, which helps promote local economic development and increase the nation’s gross domestic product.”

“Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, a provision that has been in the tax code since 1924, provides individuals and businesses with critically needed tax deferment on gains after the disposition of a property as long as the proceeds are reinvested in a similar property through a like-kind exchange. Replacement properties must be identified in 45 days and the transaction completed within 180 days.

“Survey respondents said the primary reason that they or their clients participated in a like-kind property exchange, aside from the deferral of capital gains taxes, was for equity to acquire additional properties. Other reasons were for estate planning, portfolio diversification and completion of a development project.

The tax savings resulting from like-kind exchanges are also helping bring more capital into local markets. Eighty-six percent of respondents said the savings from tax deferment allowed them or their clients to invest additional capital and make improvement in their acquired properties; these investments are generally responsible for the creation of new jobs, such as in construction and property management.

“According to the survey, in 68% of like-kind transactions, Realtors® acted as a broker or agent, and 24% participated as an owner or investor in the transaction. A larger percentage of commercial members (76%) reported engaging in a like-kind exchange transaction compared to residential members (45%). Of the total, 40% participated in between 1 and 3 transactions, and 23% participated in 4 or more transactions.

Residential properties comprised the largest portion of recent deals, accounting for 27% of disposed properties and 24% of acquired properties, followed by apartments (17% of dispositions and 22% of acquisitions). Land assets accounted for 19% of dispositions and 17% of acquisitions; retail properties accounted for 8% of dispositions and 13% of acquisitions; and office buildings comprised 11% of dispositions and 10% of acquisitions.

“Investors tend to hold on to their properties for several years; 47% of respondents reported their holding period was between 5 and 9 years, and 27% indicated a holding period of 10 to 14 years.

“NAR believes like-kind exchange transactions are fundamental to the real estate investment sector, and repealing the tax provision would have negative effects across real estate markets and the industry.

“Like-kind exchanges help investors more efficiently allocate capital and resources with less borrowed money into new investments that drive economic activity in communities across the nation,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. “Any tax reform plan repealing like-kind exchanges would hurt investors and small businesses, increase financial leverage, weaken growth and the economy, and result in the loss of jobs.”

“Survey respondents indicated that repealing like-kind exchange tax provisions would reduce equity in real estate; 67% indicated repeal would lead to a large increase in financial leverage. Realtors® said the negative result would be reduced purchase money and new construction loans, and increased property holding periods. Ninety-six percent of Realtors® also said real estate values would decrease if like-kind exchange provisions were repealed….”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 31 to August 7



No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Inn #14 2/2 now $739K.

1 new sale: Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 listed at $310K.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #F6 2/2 $285K, Sunset South #9C 2/2 $425K (our listing), Sundial #R304 2/2 $735K.


1 new listing: 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $834.9K.

3 price changes: 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $547K; 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549,999; 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 now $899,555.

2 new sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 listed at $649K, 734 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.195M.

1 closed sale: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $520K.


1 new listing: 5821 Pine Tree Dr $599K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 4626 Buck Key Rd $178K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 now $659.9K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.35M.


Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.

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

Happy NY

Rain, Rain Go Away…Finally Sunshine Again on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Another wet week here on the islands,but the sun was shining today.

Photo Thinkstock beach

Island Sun logoBelow is an article from the “Island Sun” this week, followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Release Sites Needed For Native Wildlife

CROW signThe “Island Sun” reports that CROW currently has a variety of native birds, Virginia opossums, raccoons and otters that are ready to return to the wild and establish their own territories. It takes weeks or months for the babies to mature enough to survive in the wild. With baby season in full swing, the clinic’s staff, students and volunteers are working around the clock to feed them.

Yves OspreyOnly a certain amount of animals can be released on one property. If anyone has private property with a lot of land and would be interested in having wild mammals, birds, or turtles released on it, call CROW at 472-3644. The clinic will review the set of guidelines with property owners to determine if their place is suitable.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 24-31

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel
1 new listing: Sundial #N301 2/2 $739K.
1 price change: Sundial #F308 1/1 now $380K.
2 new sales: Sundial #H211 1/1 listed at $269K, Sundial #O201 2/2 listed at $699K (our listing).
3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 $480K (our listing), Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 $642.5K, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 $1.68M.

3 new listings: 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $789K, 1198 Harbor Cottages Ct 3/3 half-duplex $899K, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.648M.
1 price change: 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 now $999.5K.
1 new sale: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $539K.
5 closed sales: 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 $465K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $550K, 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $618K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, Moonshadows #1A 3/3 $825K.

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
3 closed sales: 223 Robinwood Cir $168K, 4308 West Gulf Dr $890K, 3411 West Gulf Dr $3.05M.

No new listings.
2 price changes: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1.875M, Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 now $582.5K.
No new or closed sales.

Nothing to report.

1 new listing: 16298 Captiva Dr $5.149M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.


Until next Friday, here’s hoping for sunny days! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan