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 Sarah's Blog 
Sunday, August 25 2013

Season is Coming!

If you are thinking of selling your home, condo or homesite in the near future, NOW is the time to start the process. We all know our busy season is, well, busy, and it's by far the best time to list your property.

Our snowbirds start arriving next month and the trickle of owners and tourists turn into a flood of people as the weather up north starts to get colder. Our island traffic is always a good barameter of how our season is progressing.

Sanibel homes for sale
Sanibel real estate

Selling your home is a bit more of a process than just deciding to sell. My last few blogs have been about some of the things you can do to help get your home sold. 

You can read Here about the importance of "de-cluttering" your home before potential buyers start showing up for a viewing. When someone shows up to look over your home, it's probably one of five or six homes they have viewed that week and you don't want your home to be remembered as the one with the kitchen crammed with clutter. Since you are planning on moving anyway, why not start the process of packing your "stuff" and getting it out of sight.

Captiva island real estate

Another blog I wrote was about your curb appeal. You can check that one out Here. The first thing a potential buyer sees is the front of your home and your yard. Make sure it's cleaned up and in good repair. Drive up to your home and try and use a new eye and pretend you are a buyer. Look it over and see what sticks out. Does your front door need paint? The stair railing? Maybe a bird bath that hasn't looked good in years? Weeds around the driveway edge?

With just a little investment you can get your curb appeal in order and looking good! A few flowers, some paint, and some TLC will get your home in good order for a quick sale.

When I get a new listing I also get to work. I have a professional photographer come and take some great pictures for advertising (a de-cluttered home is a big help). I also have a virtual tour made of your home that will get posted with the listing for all island realtors (and public) to view. The tour is also easily viewed on public websites such as realtor.com. I send post cards about all new listings to island residents in the area and on my contacts list, and nice curb appeal really helps the post card photos pop! Sanibel homes for sale
List with Sarah Ashton

My job is to sell your property and I take it very seriously. I am a long-time island resident and I understand this market and the challenges of buying, selling and building on our beautuful barrier island! Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form, and I will get to work to get your property sold!

This is sure to be a busy season, so what are you waiting for? 

Contact Me Today!

 

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915

Posted by: AT 02:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2013

The Atrium on Sanibel Island

For more of the Best Sanibel Island real estate, we have The Atrium condo located at 2929 West Gulf Drive. The Atrium is a small Gulf Front condo with only 24 units. The units are either 2/2 with 1856 sq. ft or the larger 3/3 with 2250 sq. ft.

These large condos are just steps from the pool, tennis court or beach. The landscaping is perfection, and the Sanibel Island lifestyle is a perfect fit at the Atrium

Check out my Atrium Webpage
and virtual tour of this condo!

Currently there is one listing at Atrium, a one bedroom, one bath for $1,147,555. This is a gulf front unit with incredible views.

The Atrium is always in demand so give me a call, or use my contact form, for more information on this property!

We are having a great season this year and we have lots of options for anyone looking for Sanibel or Captiva Island real estate. Typically our season starts to wind down after Easter, but local rental companies are reporting strong reservations well into the summer.

I can't blame people for wanting to come here to visit or invest in real estate. We are known for our wildlife, beaches, shelling, boating, fishing, sailing, shops and the list goes on!

Property prices are starting to rise again but there are lots of terrific deals to be had! Financing is a bit trickier to get, but rates are still at historic lows and I can help guide you to lenders as well as everything involved in buying island property.

I've been a Sanibel resident for many years and I love to help people find a way to make the move to our islands. Whether it's Sanibel, Captiva or Fort Myers, I can help you from beginning to end!

If you can't make the trip to our islands yet, but still want information about this area, give me a call at 239-691-4915 and I can answer all your questions. If you want to check out some of my island videos, you can click on the links below.

Sanibel Island East End Video
Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
Captiva Island Video
Island Condo Videos
Island Neighborhood Videos

Thanks for checking out my blog and my website! I hope you find lots of fun and interesting things in it. Be sure to check out my multiple listing service search page! We make it easy for you! You can search by location, price, using an island map, or just about any other criteria you want. You can even save or email the listings that you like.

I'm here to help, so it's time to start your search for your place in paradise!

Thanks
Sarah, Broker Associate
239-691-4915

Posted by: AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 12 2013
The Vacant Land Conundrum


Owning a Vacant Lot is a great strategy for getting your toe in the water in a community you think you may want to live in the future, as well as a way to diversify an investment portfolio with Real Estate.  It is relatively inexpensive to own (Real Estate Taxes) and relatively easy to maintain, perhaps clearing or mowing it periodically. 
The challenge comes when you have decided that you aren’t going to build on it yourself and you wish to divest yourself of the investment in return for cash.  The market for Vacant Land is a bit fickle.  If the overall real estate market is experiencing reduced prices as we have been for the past several years, selling that lot can be tough. 
When the prices of existing houses, on perhaps preferred lots is low, it makes the “buy the land and build on it” model a tough one from a financial perspective.  Basically we are looking at the price of the land plus the cost to build and needing to be less than or roughly equal to the purchase price of an existing home plus any updates or remodeling.  The formulaic side of me can’t help but state it as:

VL + CB  < or = EH + RM

VL - Vacant Land; CB - Cost to Build;
EH - Existing House; RM - Remodel

This of course doesn’t take in the entire story either. Clearly the ability to design your living space and to take advantage of current technology and building practices has a benefit.  While, at the same time, not all folks are interested in the occasional hassles of the building process, particularly from hundreds of miles away. 
 
Therein lies the conundrum. What is the actual value of a piece of Vacant Land? The variables are great and the comparisons of one piece of land to another is sometimes a difficult one.  The value ultimately is in the eyes of the beholder.

If finding your dream property and building a home sounds like something you are interested in, check out my homesite listings!
Located in Beachview
Located in Sea Oats
Located in the Sanctuary
For information on ALL the Sanibel and Captiva Island real estate, give me a call at 239-691-4915 or through my Contact Form!
Thanks
Sarah
Posted by: AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 20 2012
Gulf Ridge

Last time I wrote about Sea Spray, which is just down the road from today's topic - Gulf Ridge Community. Slightly larger than Sea Spray, Gulf Ridge has about 60 homes/homesites, with some being direct gulf front properties!
Gulf Ridge also has two pools and two tennis court for your enjoyment! This community is located near the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and also just a short drive to Blind Pass and Captiva Island.

Over 20 miles of biking/walking trails are located at the entrance to this community!
Currently there are four homes listed in Gulf Ridge. The asking prices start with a three bed, three bath for $760,000, up to a four/four for $3,990,000. There is currently one vacant property available - over an acre for $469,000.

Contact me
for all the latest information on our island listings! You can also watch a video tour of Gulf Ridge on My Webpage.
Sanibel is starting to get busy with our winter season almost upon us! Our islands are colorfully decorated for the holidays and we have lots of events coming up. This is a great time to think about looking at island properties! We have a great inventory, and I'm sure I can find just the right location for you.
For Sanibel homes available, we have 209 currently listed in our multiple listing service. The asking prices start with a 3/2 for $250,000.

For Sanibel condos, we currently have 193 listed, starting with a 1/1 for $129,000!


You can see that we have something for everyone! You can search our MLS Here.
I also want to tell you about my latest listing. It's a homesite located in Sea Oats Subdivision (off West Gulf Drive). This is one of the few remaining vacant lots in Sea Oats, one of our most sought after communities. The property offers views of conservation property, and includes a deeded beach access just a short walk or bike ride away. The asking price is only $315,000! Contact Me or call 239-691-4915 for more information.
You can check out Sea Oats with  a video tour on my webpage.

Thanks!
Sarah
Posted by: AT 10:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, December 08 2012
Seaspray

Lately I've been telling you about great neighborhoods centrally located on Sanibel Island, and Seaspray is another one!

Beautifully landscaped, this area offers a small community of beach front and near beach properties.
Seaspray is near the 20 miles of Sanibel biking/walking trails, as well as the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Just a short distance down Sanibel-Captiva Road is Blind Pass separating Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Captiva Island offers three marinas with fishing guides, boat rentals and some of the areas best restaurants!
Currently there are two homes for sale in Seaspray. One is a four bedroom, five bath gulf front home for $2,348,000 and the other is also a gulf front. A five bed, five bath asking $3,395,000.

Homes in Seaspray are secluded with pristine tropical landscaping that fits in perfectly in our Sanibel Island lifestyle! Sanibel real estate at its best!
Seaspray is located just off of Sanibel Captiva Road and includes a community swimming pool and two tennis courts for your enjoyment.

Some of the homes in Seaspray also have their own pools. This neighborhood is just about perfect for enjoying everything our islands have to offer!
For more information about Seaspray you can visit my Seaspray webpage, as well as watch a short video tour of this great Sanibel Island neighborhood! Sanibel Real Estate at its Best!

If you have been thinking of buying on our islands, or in Fort Myers, now is the time to contact me for all the latest listings. Our winter busy season is just getting ready to start and we now have a nice inventory of homes, homesites and condos available.
If you are coming to this area in the future, or you just want to stay informed about homes or condos that would fit your buying criteria, please give me a call at 239-691-4915, or through my contact form. If you'd, like, I can enter your email and criteria into my automatic system and be notified whenever a new listing fitting your specs becomes available! Simple as that!
Thanks!
Sarah Ashton
Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 09 2012
Heron's Landing and Heron's Landing II

This week I want to talk about two great neighborhoods on the Island. Centrally located off of Sanibel-Captiva Road, Heron's Landing and Heron's Landing II are gated communities near the beach, Captiva Island and the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

You  can watch a virtual tour of either neighborhood by visiting my Heron's Landing webpages:
Heron's Landing or Heron's Landing II
Both neighborhoods are located off the Sanibel Bayous subdivision and each has properties overlooking the Bayou and some with second floor Gulf views.

If you are looking for a home, or a place to construct your dream home, I can help you with the ins and outs of home buying or construction on our island! Sanibel Island real estate presents you with lots of great opportunities!

Currently there are a couple of terrific listings in Heron's Landing. There are two homes currently listed. One is a furnished three bedroom, two bath for $879,000. The other is a three bedroom, three bath with Bayou and Gulf views listed for $1,695,000.

There are two vacant properties for sale, one for $379,00 and another for $595,555.
All these properties have pros and cons and if you would contact me I can explain each area and property to you. Sanibel Island is an incredible place to live, and as a long time island resident, I have the knowledge to help you with your real estate decisions!
Our real estate market is definitely on the rise with market prices coming off its lows and sales activity is on the rise. If you have been thinking of buying on Sanibel, Captiva Island or Fort Myers, this is the time to get in high gear and let me go to work for you! We have some terrific properties ready for you.
Whether it's a condo, home or vacant lot, our pre-season inventory has just about every type property you can imagine. On Sanibel, home prices start at $250,000 and go up to $5,496,00. Condo prices from $129,000 to $2,999,900. I can definitely find just the right place for you!
The Sanibel & Captiva Island lifestyle awaits! Use my contact form or give me a call at 239-691-4915. It's starting to get cold up north and we are expecting a very busy real estate season so pick up that phone and give me a call!!
Next week I'll talk about the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge! I have a great video that you can watch HERE, so until then...
Thanks!
Sarah
Posted by: AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 20 2012

We can always tell when it's starting to get cold up north. Our traffic gets heavier and our resorts start to fill up. This is a great time of the year and it's also a good time to look at what's going on with our real estate market.

Currently we have 185 homes listed on Sanibel, starting with a three bedroom, two bath listed at $250,000 on San-Cap Road, up to a four bedroom, five and a half bath gulf front home listed at $5,495,000. On Captiva Island we have 36 homes listed, from a two bedroom, two and a half bath for $669,00, to an incredible seven bedroom, ten bath listed at $12,500,000. Between our two islands, and many listings, we certainly have just right property for you!

If a condo is more to your liking, we currently have 172 condos for sale on Sanibel. Condos start at a Colonnades one/one unit listed for $129,000, to a 3/4 at Sedgemoor listed for $2,999,900. There are also 54 condos listed on Captiva Island, starting with a 1/1 at Tennis Villas for $225,000 to a 3/3 Beach Homes listing for $2,280,000.
With all these great listings, and interest rates at historic lows, this is the time to get your piece of the Sanibel-Captiva lifestyle and put your footprints on the beach! All signs point to rising prices and an active season so this just might be the last chance to buy at the bottom of the market. We are starting to see homes and condos that are currently listed showing an increase in the listed asking price.
Since the first of the year we've had 152 home closings on Sanibel (avg. selling price of $781,368) and 134 Sanibel condo closings (avg. selling price of $566,057). For Captiva we've had 23 home closings (avg. selling price $1,423,906) and 31 condo closings (avg. selling price $842,242). This shows our islands to be very active in showings and sales! It also shows that this is a great time to put some thought into making Sanibel or Captiva your new home or get-a-way!
Even forgetting all the above statistics, our island lifestyle is always in demand, and of course, I would love to show you around! If you don't think it's quite time to start looking in person, or you are still up north, I can put you on my automatic notification system. If you let me know your criteria for what you might be interested in (price, size, home/condo, location, etc.) you will be emailed the listing details and photos whenever a new listing fitting your criteria becomes available! Easy as that!
Please contact me with any questions you might have about my island! Sanibel and Captiva offers lots to do and more to see and as an island resident, I can point you in the right direction!
Thanks for reading my Blog!

Sarah

Posted by: AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 05 2011

Greetings from Sunny (albeit humid) Sanibel Island, Florida

The Sanibel Real Estate market has continued to be strong through July and year-to-date we have had an 18% increase in closed sales 2011 over 2010. That is quite remarkable!  Condos have lead the way with a 23% increase in the number of closed deals and an strong showing in the $1MM+ end of the market.  Very encouraging.

Land sales continue to lag - we actually had more closed land sales year-to-date in 2010 than we have had this year.  The values of existing homes is so much greater than the expense of purchasing a vacant lot and building new that the existing homes continue to be a better way to go. 
 
 

Two clients I have worked with in July have experienced something we haven't had in a long time - loosing a property they were interested in to another interested party getting an offer in on the property first!  I have also had clients have to deal with competing offers - another situation we haven't seen in a long time!  With all this activity - we are seeing the inventory decline.  This is due both to the number of sales as well as the time of year.  We typically get more folks listing in October in expectation of the seasonal influx of visitors. 

I hope you are having a great Summer and I look forward to hearing from you soon about your plans to come down to Sanibel!  Till next time....Sarah

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 18 2009
Greetings from Sanibel and Captiva Islands

The big news of my week is that I have moved over to Royal Shell Preferred Properties.  I am really excited about the move (well not the physical and logistical move actually it's kind of a pain, short term pain however).  What is exciting is the new opportunity to work with some terrific people in an organization that will support me fully in my efforts to service you,  my clients. 

My office is on Captiva Island and I have use and access to the Sanibel office as well.  This gives me a great opportunity to service all clients in convenient locations.  Royal Shell Sales is also very closely tied to Royal Shell Rentals - the largest rental company on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  This is very convenient for you who purchase investment properties to start getting that property to work for you.

I would love to answer any questions that you have about the move or the services of Royal Shell.  Email me or call, I always love to hear from you.  Let me know when you will be here so I can show you the new digs! 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 05:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email


Servicing the Real Estate Needs of Buyers and Sellers on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

 
ReMax of the Islands Sarah Ashton
Sarah Ashton Sarah S. Ashton, Broker Associate, Realtor®
ReMax of the Islands
2400 Palm Ridge Road
Sanibel, FL 33957

 

Office Phone: 239.472.2311
Mobile: 239.691.4915

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