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 Sarah's Blog 
Wednesday, November 28 2018

We all know that our homes are our castles. We take a good deal of pride in our home and the security and comfort it provides. At times, this pride can cause a loss of perspective when it comes to how the property stacks up in the market. We don’t notice the faded wall paper or the stained counter top. We know that the carpet is older but it looks ok and won’t affect a prospective buyer’s perception of the value of the house, right?
Wrong.

sanibel real estate

Sanibel Island home for sale Updating or renovating a property is not easy, nor is it fun for many folks. The disruption and the expense are real deterrents to jumping into a kitchen or bathroom remodel. As a result, many times when it comes time to sell the property, the actual value of the home to the market isn’t as high as the sales prices of others in the neighborhood. The comparable houses in the neighborhood that have sold may have had updates and features that are not as obvious from driving by. The result may be Reverse Sticker Shock. The awareness that your castle isn’t really as valuable as you thought it was!  
Ways to combat Reverse Sticker Shock:
1. Ask two of your most trusted Real Estate advisors to do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of your property.  Specifically ask them to evaluate the improvements and features of the compared properties in light of your own.
Sanibel Island real estate
Sanibel Island real estate 2. Get cost estimates for the updates and improvements that a prospective buyer may want to do should they purchase your property. Realize that these are not necessarily dollar for dollar deductions on your property – after all, the home is functional – but they are dollars that the buyer will take into account when doing their own evaluation of value.

3. Be objective. Take a look at the curb appeal, the real appearance of the interior rooms of your property – bring in a trusted, and honest, friend or family member to validate or debunk your thoughts.
Your home is your castle – just keep it in perspective. If you truly want to sell, getting your initial pricing right will make your selling process much easier!

Call me TODAY and I can provide a free Comparative Market Analysis of your home's value and we can start you on your way to a successful sale!

239-691-4915

Sanibel Island real estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
ReMax of the Islands
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 31 2018

What do you do when your home sale is held up by mold?

Realtors and home buyers are by no means “mold experts.”  However, many have sensitive noses or respiratory conditions that are pretty accurate mold detection systems.  We can actually smell or feel the problem upon entering a property. Sanibel real estate
Sanibel real estate Recently a buyer of a condo requested a Mold Inspection on a property that did not evidence any mold presence, no smell and no itchy nose.  The inspection report came back with one mold variety inside the unit sky high.  This was as compared to the same variety outside the unit.  This is never good!
Upon further review, there were no leaks, the air conditioner worked properly and there was no evidence of any excess moisture.  The diagnosis, from the licensed, mold remediation professional, a “Mold Bloom”.  The likely cause – the deep cleaning that took place right before the owners went north for the summer.  The tile floors were mopped and had not dried completely prior to the hurricane shutters being closed and the faulty or non-calibrated humidistat set.  The moisture, the darkness and the 80+ degree temperature set off the Bloom – Wow!! Sanibel real estate

Sanibel real estate

sanibel real estate

Unfortunately, the mold remediation is the same as if there were a more systemic problem and it was not inexpensive to treat.  A couple of recommendations: 

1.  If you have a Humidistat on your Air Conditioning system – have it checked.  Or, in the words of the Mold Remediation professional – “take the darn thing off”!  His take was that they more often malfunction than work so removing it is the better route. 

2.  Prior to closing up your house for the Summer, make sure all water sources are turned off and that damp surfaces and materials are dry before you go.  

Humidity and Southwest Florida go hand-in-hand.  We just need to prevent what is outside from coming inside. 

Whether you're a buyer or seller, it's always a good idea to have someone (Me!) in your corner helping you through the decision-making process.

Click for my online Contact Form

Search Island Properties Here

Island Information Click Here

sanibel real estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
ReMax of the Islands
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 09:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 03 2016

Sanibel Island Has Lots To Do!

You might think Sanibel summers are slow, with not much to do. That's not the case! For island events you can check out the calendar of events posted through our Chamber of Commerce - Here. With fewer people on-island you can enjoy our beaches and historical sites without the crowds from the winter months. 

Just to name a few fun things locals enjoy, we can start with the Historic Sanibel Lighthouse at the east end of the island. This lighthouse has quite a cool history! Did you know this was the first lighthouse on the west coast of Florida? It was completed in 1884. You can learn more about ou lighthouse Here.

Things to do on Sanibel Island

Things to do on Sanibel Island

Of course our J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is world famous and absolutely worth the visit. The Refuge has a welcome center that tells the history of Ding Darling and the Refuge. Eight miles of walking/biking trails can fill your day, and bird watching in the Refuge is fantastic! You can watch Roseate Spoonbills feeding in the ponds, as wall as a gator or two sunning along the road. They also offer tram rides as well as daily events for adults and children to participate. You can read more about it Here, and watch my short video (left).
I know it's warm out there, but a nice bike ride is always fun. Especially on Sanibel Island! We have over 20 miles of bike/walking trails throughout the island. You can also detour through the numerous preserve property trails. You can get to just about all of our restaurants as well as biking to our local shops. You can go Here to see a map of Sanibel's bike trails. Things to do on Sanibel Island
We can't leave out Captiva Island! You can check out Captiva's unique "Downtown" for some fun shopping, as well as grabbing something to eat at the Mucky Duck restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Captiva Island also offers four private marinas that have boat rentals, fishing and shelling guides, and sailboat charters. There is no better way to cool off than to get out on the water! You can go to my "Downtown" Captiva page Here, and check out my Captiva video (left).
Things to do on Sanibel Island

Our Sanibel Historic Village is another fun thing to do with the kids. They are closed for a few months in the summers so give them a call before visiting. You can read about the Village Here.

Just off our islands you can visit the historic homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The attached Edison workshop shows many of his amazing inventions! And the landscaping is world renown! Read more about the Edison and Ford homes Here.

While you're on the island you might as well check out properties available! You can easily look at what's available through my real estate search page. You can search by price, size, location or map! Easy! Check it out Here.

Call me today with any questions and I promise to do everything I can help you.

Call Today!
239-691-4915

Things to do on Sanibel Island

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
ReMax of the Islands
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 14 2016

Perfect for your Sanibel Island lifestyle!

Season sure is fun around here! Our weather has been fantastic for biking, sightseeing and hitting the beach! Perfect! It's also the best time of the year to check out properties that fit your needs. We have a great inventory of Sanibel homes, condos and homesites. We also have great properties available on Captiva Island.

Check out these two listings that I believe would be just right for someone. One is a condo and one is a home.

Sanibel real estate

Sea pines of sanibel

Sea Pines of Sanibel

The first listing is located at 1390 Middle Gulf Drive. This is a three bed, three bath townhome overlooking the Sanibel River. Located in desireable Sea Pines Community, you have stunning views of the River in a private, quiet community. This townhome is just a short walk to the beach and is convenient to everything. A private dock allows you to launch your kayak in back of your home. The unit boasts impact windows, composite decking in the screened lanai.
This townhome is offered for $549,000

Check out the Virtual Tour!

Next we have a great condo located at 2840 West Gulf Drive. This is Seashells of Sanibel and has its own easement to the beach just accross the street! This is a two bedroom, two bath fully furnished condo. Seashells of Sanibel is also a great location if you want to put your condo into their on-site rental program. This condo has an updated kitchen and tile floors throughout. New appliances (except refrigerator) and AC condenser in 2015. Upbeat island decor and comfortable furnishings make this a great island property. The Seashells complex has on-site rental management and permits weekly rentals in Season and 3 day rentals during the summer.
This condo is being offered for $375,000

Check out the Virtual Tour!

Sea Shells of Sanibel

Sanibel Island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

Make this your year for Sanibel Island and Captiva Island! Our market is active and I'm sure I can find the perfect property for you! We currently have 158 homes available on Sanibel. We also have 103 condos available. Some on the beach and some within walking distance. If you think you might be interested in building, we have 69 homesites available! I have had a home built on Sanibel Island and I can help you with your options of building on our barrier island. 

Contact me TODAY and I can get to work for you. Just tell me what your criteria is and then head to the beach as I do all the legwork for you. I can narrow down the selection to properties right for you .

I love living on Sanibel Island and I know you will too!

Call me! 239-691-4915

Sanibel island real estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
ReMax of the Islands
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 30 2015

Native vs. Non-Native Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Vegetation

I want to tell you about this great new website I found! Have you ever wanted a fast and easy way to determine which island plants are native and which are not? If you are building on the island, or are currently a home owner, this is a fun way to lean about our local plant life. As you probably know, Sanibel Island has strict codes as far as removing "exotic vegetation," and if you plan to build on the island you need to be aware of what you need to remove and replace.

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

This website allows you to plug in your zip code and it will pull up a list of local plants, along with their common name and its scientific name. I mean how many of us have wondered what plant "Heterotheca subaxillaris" is? Or maybe most of us will just stick with the common name (Camphorweed). Click the links below for the full list of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island plants. Check out these sites for Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.

Sanibel Island Plants

Captiva Island Plants

The Sanibel website "MySanibel.com" has lots of information along with contact numbers for your questions. Of course you can also give me a call at 239-691-4915 and I can point you in the right direction to find answers to your questions. I've built a home on Sanibel Island, as well as being a Realtor on the island, so I do have some expertise on this subject.

You can also find more on the "Vegetation Information" page of the Sanibel government website. You can find lots of information about native vs. non-native vegetation, and our city building department is a friendly place that will work with Island builders to help guide your construction project to a successful end.

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel beaches

Sanibel island real estate As usual, I want to help you navigate your way to buying or building your perfect island paradise. Today there is a blizzard in Colorado and I'm sure many people all over the country are starting to plan a trip to Sanibel and Captiva Islands. We have a nice inventory of homes, condos and homesites and you can put me to work searching for your new property while you hit the beach! Just let me know your criteria and I can organize everything that fits your needs so you can view them without wasting any of your time. Call Me Today! or use my contact form.

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 29 2015

Some of our favorite things...

It's fun to see what people say about "some of their favorite things" on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and I want to tell you the rest of the results from my casual survey from my clients and friends. I mentioned before that the winner of the "favorite beach" location was beach access number 7 on West Gulf Drive. I think we all have our favorite beach location, but I have to agree that access 7 does take you to some spectacular shelling after a strong westerly wind. On the other hand, anyplace you can stick your umbrella into the sand is a super place to spend the day!

Sanibel Island real estate

Sanibel Island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel Island real estate

If you're wondering what the poll revealed as the favorite restaurant, Sweet Melissa's, located at 1625 Periwinkle Way, was the winner! 

Runners-up were Il Cielo, Il Tesoro, Sanibel Café, Timbers, Lazy Flamingo and Rosies all receiving multiple votes. With so many great restaurants on Sanibel & Captiva Islands, it's hard to pick a favorite!

Biking on Sanibel has always been a major reason some people love our islands. When I asked what bike route was the favorite, it's hard to argue with the winner being all the trails in the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. You can spend your entire vacation exploring our favorite sanctuary. We had a tie for second best bike trail, the Sanibel Pond Apple Trail and the trail near the Over Easy Cafe on Tarpon Bay Road. With over 20 miles of biking/walking trails on Sanibel, it's a fun way to spend some time and get some exercise.

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

Captiva island real estate And don't forget to give me a call Today so I can start my search for your perfect piece of paradise! If you know of someone you would like to make your neighbor...pass my number along! 239-691-4915

If you want to start your Sanibel real estate search yourself, you can use my free and easy search engine. You can search by map, address, size, condo, home, or homesite.

We have a great selection of properties and I'm sure I can find just the right spot for you! This is one of the best times to visit and start your property search, our weather is spectacular, the waters are warm, the shells are plentiful and I'm looking forward to helping you find your perfect piece of paradise!

Sanibel Island real estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 05 2015

Always a winner!

Living on Sanibel Island we sometimes forget to notice how special our islands are to the outside world. We are always winning awards or being named as #1 in beaches, fishing, shelling, vacations, and so on. Over the years we have been mentioned in articles all over the world. Of course it doesn't seem like news to those of us who live here... we know how wonderful Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are!

Our Chamber of Commerce recently published a list of a few awards our Islands have received. I'll post a few of them at the end of this blog.

Sanibel real estate

Sanibel real estate

Sanibel real estate

Sanibel real estate

I recently put together an online survey to see what my friends and clients would pick for their favorite island place. 

When I asked what beach is a favorite, it seems the beach at "Access 7" located on West Gulf Drive is the favorite choice! Parking is restricted and limited, but easy to access by bike. 

Another favorite (came in as a strong second) is Bowmans Beach off Sanibel-Captiva Drive. I have a tough time picking my favorite beach. Some days I think Blind Pass beach is the best, but during our busy winter season I think I like the limited access beaches off West Gulf Drive. It's a tough choice when you have over 20 miles of beach to chose from.

In my survey I also asked for favorite bike ride, and favorite island restaurant. I'll post the results of those in upcoming blogs. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island always have something to offer, and many times we get chosen as "best" in a survey. Not bad for a tiny area located in Southwest Florida!

Sanibel real estate

Sanibel real estate

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

As for local news and current things to do on the island, you can always pull up the calendar at our Chamber of Commerce website. From education, to tennis, to our 10th annual "Pirate Fest," there is always something fun to do!

While on the islands you might as well put me to work looking for your perfect place in paradise! This is a great time to start your Sanibel real estate search. Just let me know your criteria and I can gather a list of properties that fit your needs. Whether a condo, home, or homesite, I know my islands and I can help you find just what you want. Call me Today! 

239-691-4915

If you want to start your real estate search on your own, I have the best search feature on my website. You can search by map, price, size, or any other criteria that's important to you! Click Here to give it a try!

Sanibel real estate

If you're wondering what some of our "Island Awards" are, here's a list of just a few that were recently listed on our Chamber website;
2015 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #3 for Best Family Beach Vacation
2015 – FamilyFun Travel Awards – Sanibel Island ranked #1 family travel destination
2014 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #4 for Best Family Beach Vacations
2014 – Coastal Living – Captiva Island voted #2 happiest seaside town
2014 – CNN Travel –  10 Best Budget Vacations for spring – Sanibel Island
2014 – USA Today 10Best – Sanibel & Captiva ranked 6th best Birdwatching
2014 – Men’s Journal – Sanibel named ‘Best for Shell Hunting’
2014 – FlipKey by TripAdvisor – Top Beach Vacations
2014 – SmarterTravel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
2013 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel & Captiva islands – chosen by Traveler Magazine for one of 5 Perfect  Weekends in Florida
2013 – Coastal  Living – 2013 annual America’s Happiest Seaside Towns – and also Sanibel was voted one of the best places to live on the coast
2013 – USA Today – voted part of the 10 best attractions in Florida – Seashells on  Sanibel Island – voted in December 2013 by USA Today Readers’ Choice awards
2013 – TripAdvisor – Travelers Choice Awards – TripAdvisor choice awards voted Sanibel Island as one of the top 10 islands to visitin the US
2013 – Travel & Leisure Magazine – listed Captiva Island as one of the most Romantic Beach Getawaysin their August 2013 feature
2013 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida– both Sanibel island and Captiva island make the top 10 list
2013 – Peter Greenberg – Best Bird-watching  – Peter Greenberg, America’s foremost travel expert, listed the J.N. Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge among his top five recommended spots for a bird-watching spring break vacation
2013 – Smarter Travel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
2012 – USA Today – Sanibel – 10 Great Places for Families to Escape the Snow and Best Beach Towns in Florida
2012 – U.S. News & World Report  – Best Florida Beaches – ranked Sanibel Island’s beach at the top of the magazine’s list of the 8 Best Florida Beaches
2012 – Dr. Beach – Most Romantic Beaches – Captiva Island has been ranked one of the country’s  most romantic beaches for two consecutive years by Stephen Leatherman, Ph.D., (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) Florida International University, recognized as the nation’s foremost beach authority
2011 – Frommer’s – Arthur Frommer’s 10 Favorite Travel Destinations – Arthur Frommer named Sanibel Island one of the “Top Ten Favorite Places to Travel” in the world
2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel and Captiva earned top spots in the Top-10 North America Islands list: Sanibel Island ranked fourth, while Captiva Island came in at number six
2011 – Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice award – Best Beaches in the United States voted Sanibel (#5) and Captiva (#8)  and 16th in the world by Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award
2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Best Kayaking 2011
Older Notable Awards
2010 – Condé Nast Traveler – Top 10 North American Islands  voted Sanibel and Captiva in the top 10
2010 – The Travel Channel – selected Sanibel as  “Best Shelling Beach.” Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia,  sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is prohibited on our beaches.
2010 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida  – Sanibel Island has been named one of the “the best in the world” in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards
2005 – Condé Nast Traveler magazine – 2005 Readers’ Choice Awards have acknowledged Sanibel and Captiva islands as among “destinations approaching perfection.”

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2015

Sanibel Island recognized (again) as one of the best places!

This year the "FamilyFun Travel Awards" picked Sanibel Island as the best Family-Friendly Vacation Spot in the U.S.! Nothing we didn't already know, but it's always nice when our little island is recgonized as being very special. Sanibel Island actually won the top spot in two catagories; the Best Family-Friendly Vacation Spot in the U.S., and The Top Tourist Town.

Announced on NBC's Today Show, the article mentions our incredible birding (230 types of birds), our 25 miles of bike paths, over 250 types of shells, and, of course, our over 15 miles of beach. 

Sanibel had some tough competition, but we've known for years that our islands are the best!

Sanibel island homes for sale

Sanibel island real estate

Sanibel island real estate

Besides winning another "Best Of" title to add to our collection, we are having a busy time on the islands. We still have plenty of tourists and local residents on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. 

We have lots of events coming up as we head into the summer. From fishing tournements to Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge tours... there is always something to do on Sanibel! You can check out the full schedule of upcoming events HERE.

We also have a full inventory of properties for sale and many buyers taking advantage of our improving economy and low interest rates. We currently have 124 home listings on Sanibel, from a 2/1 for $299,000 to an incredibly beautiful 5/4 with 700 feet of beach frontage listed at $18,950,000. For condos, Sanibel currently has 98 listings from a 1/1 for $229,900 to a 3/4 $2,495,000 listed as a "gulf front single family home with convenience of a condo." Sanibel island real estate
Sanibel island real estate

I have some super listings also. You can check out my "Sensational Properties" page on my website HERE for virtual tours, specifications, and prices.

You can also search ALL our island listing on my popular listing search page HERE. You can put in all your criteria for what you are looking for and you can search by map, price or size. Give it a try!

This is a great time to come and visit Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Our weather is perfect, crowds are less, and our beaches are waiting! Come and leave your footprints in the sand... and while you're here, Call Me! Let me know what you're looking for and I will search out every property fitting your needs. You can just enjoy the beach as I do all the footwork for you!

Call me today!
239-691-4915

Sanibel real estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
P.O. Box 610
Captiva, FL 33924
Contact Me
239-691-4915

Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 22 2015

1041 Blue Heron Drive - Just Steps to the Beach!

This beautuful home is an extremely private near-beach home located in the Gulf Shore subdivision. Located only a few steps away from your deeded beach access, this meticulously maintained house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms with a large, private pool. You are near everything we appreciate about our islands! Besides miles and miles of our beach, you are just a short bike ride from the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. This stunning home should be yours!

Check out the Virtual Tour!
Sanibel Island home for sale
Sanibel Island home for sale

The vaulted, open living area leads to a screened lanai that overlooks the pool and the beautiful landscaping. This is truly a welcoming home for family and friends!

The kitchen is good-sized with an eating area and a laundry room with pantry. 
Each bedroom has its own private bathroom! 

Sanibel Island home for sale

Along with the private pool, there is a hot tub for your enjoyment!

The main bedroom suite has a large bathroom and attached sitting area. 
The lush, tropical landscape provides a private and enchanting environment. 

This large home has a living square footage (according to Lee County) of 1869 feet. This is one of those homes that has just about everything and is very inviting and comfortable. There is LOTS to like about this property! 

You will want to make 1041 Blue Heron your Sanibel Island address!

The asking price is $839,000

Sanibel Island home for sale
sanibel real estate

This is a great time of year to be on the islands! The weather is fantastic and the crowds are starting to migrate north. I hope to see you soon and show you what our islands have to offer! Whether it's a condo, home or homesite - we have a great inventory of properties! 

Give me a call today!

239-691-4915

Sanibel App If you plan to visit Sanibel Island, of if you are a resident, download my Sanibel App! The Sanibel App is a great source for things to do and local information. You can get my FREE app at either the Google or Apple stores. Click here for the FREE download!  Google Play or the Apple Store.

As usual... give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form to get started on your Sanibel-Captiva property search. As an island resident I can help you find your perfect place in paradise! Call me today!

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

Posted by: AT 11:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 22 2015

The Sanibel App is informative and fun!

I was trying to think of something fun to do, and I came up with just that! The Sanibel App is free and has lots of features to help visitors and residents find fun things to do on the island. You can go to the GooglePlay store, the Apple Store, or the easiest way is to just go to www.SanibelApp.com and click on either the Google or Apple icon!

The App is a great way to plan your stay if you're visiting, or to look for new things to do if you are a resident. I also included a list of my most trusted businesses on the island! 

Sanibel App
Sanibel business directory Sanibel Green Sanibel Island information

This App is a great way to explore! I have lots of articles for you to check out: Sanibel's Historic Village, the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, Beach access points, bike routes and much more!

Of course you can also explore island real estate. I have one of the best real estate search engines to help you search by price, map, location or any other criteria you like.

So check out the Sanibel App and let me know what you think! If you want more features just let me know what you need and I can add updates to the App.

Click on the Google Play or App Store icons on the right to download the Sanibel App!

Sanibel App

Sanibel App

Sanibel App

Besides telling you about my App, I also want to tell you a bit about the start of our busy "winter" season. It looks like the economy is back and buyers are looking! Our island inventory of homes, condos, and homesites offers something for everyone!

For sale on Sanibel Island we currently have listed:
Homes - 153
Condos - 120
Homesites - 83

I'm sure we have just the right property for you! Check out my easy property search web feature and you can start your property search yourself.

And if you are a current owner and are thinking of selling... give me a call. My listings sell!

Contact me today!

Sanibel homes for sale

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

Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, December 07 2014

Three Bedroom, Two Bath Sanibel Pool

My new listing located in the Dunes Subdivision probably won't be on the market very long. For the price (listed at $775,000) this home is priced to sell quickly. Located at 8999 Mockingbird Drive, you are close to the best beaches on the east end of the island, as well as close to the causeway. Sanibel home for sale
Sanibel home for sale The home is on a lake and has great south-facing views from your screened lanai or pool. The open floorplan has split bedrooms and a den. The yard is attractive and easy to maintain with a fenced in area.

Gracious island living with an easy charm sums up this beautiful home! Give me a call today and I can schedule a showing for you. This should be your year to make the move to Sanibel! Beaches, shelling, fishing, boating, shopping... the list is never-ending!

Check out the virtual tour here!
Sanibel home for sale

Sanibel home for sale

Sanibel homes for sale

Sanibel and Captiva are in full swing for the holidays!

Driving down Periwinkle Way you can see all the stores and shops decorated and ready to celebrate the season! Our full contingent of winter visitors isn't here yet so you can enjoy the islands without long restaurant waits and you still have plentiful beach parking.

And the weather? Perfect. This week we are going to have daytime highs in the 70s and sunny! What's not to like? 

So give me a call and I can start you on your way to ownership on our islands. Whether it's a home, condo or homesite - I can help! We have a nice inventory of properties and I'm sure I can find you the perfect place that fits your criteria. Even if you just have a question about island real estate - give me a call!

If you are currently an owner on the island and you would like an opinion of value for your property - give me a call! As a long-time island resident and a Realtor, I follow the market closely and I'm hoping to put my expertise to work for you.

Give me a call today!

239-691-4915

Sanibel homes for sale

Sanibel homes for sale
 

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

Or Use My Contact Form

Posted by: AT 11:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 02 2014

Lots of choices on Sanibel Island

It's always interesting to see what's selling in different areas of Sanibel Island. I pulled up the data for the last 365 days (9/2/2013 to 9/2/2014) and it's an interesting mix. This has been a good year for real estate and it shows we are firmly into a recovering market. Nationally real estate is on an "up" trend too, which makes property owners and potential buyers happy. 

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Our MLS website separates the Sanibel market into categories such as, Gulf, Canal, Near Beach, Bayou, Bayfront, and Interior.

It's not surprising that the areas selling the most properties is "Interior" and "Near Beach," mostly because that's where the majority of the island's properties are located. Since Sanibel is an island, it's almost arbitrary if you call an interior property "Near Beach" or "Interior." 

Okay, so let's look at the numbers for Homes and Condos.

Gulf Front Homes Sold - 5 sold from $1,485,000 to $4,100,000.

Gulf Front Condos Sold - 109 sold from $218,000 to $2,350,000.

Bay Front Homes Sold - 7 sold from $622,000 to $5,000,000.

Bay Front Condos Sold - 10 from $$350,000 to $635,000.

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Canal Homes Sold - 33 sold from $425,000 to $2,250,000.

Canal Condos Sold - 9 sold from $170,000 to $400,000.

Bayou Homes Sold - 13 from $550,000 to $1,337,000.

Bayou Condos Sold - 1 for $220,000.

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Near Beach Homes Sold - 77 from $249,000 to $2,400,000.

Near Beach Condos Sold - 20 from $150,000 to $440,000.

Interior Homes Sold - 54 from $265,000 to $1,750,000.

Interior Condos Sold - 3 from $585,000 to $660,000.

Statistics are fun, but it's much more fun to actually show you properties and find you just what you're looking for! We currently have 147 homes listed on Sanibel as well as 127 condos and I'm positive one of them is your perfect place on the island. 

If you're looking to sell, I can help you get your property on the market and sold! Royal Shell Real Estate has three sales offices on the island as well as national marketing to help you find a buyer. Give me a call TODAY at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form and I'll get to work for you! 

Sanibel Real Estate

Sanibel Real Estate

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
Sanibel & Captiva Islands
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 11:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 05 2014

We are halfway through the year and it's always fun to see how our sales stand up against the previous year. We just finished celebrating the 4th of July with hot dogs, burgers, and a great firework display over the water, so now it's time to settle in to work for the summer. 

Traffic is much lighter than in our winter "season" but it looks like we are set for a fairly busy summer. People are looking at real estate and putting in offers, so it looks like we will continue our busy year! 

This chart below shows how we are doing compared to last year;

What all this means is you need to start your search for the perfect property today! I can do all the footwork for you and only show you properties that fit your personal criteria. I'm a longtime resident of the islands and I promise you I will do everything possible to get you your own personal piece of paradise! Contact Me or give me a call at 239-691-4915 and I'll get to work!

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 17 2014

We constantly hear from our up north friends how they miss our islands, and I think I can help. Here are links to various live "beach cams" for you to enjoy. The first one is from the beach at Island Inn (Click Here to view). Next we have a live cam located at the Holiday Inn (Click Here), and next we have a look from the cam at Casa Ybel Resort (Here). For Captiva Island you can check out the Mucky Duck live cam (Here). Off Island we have a live cam at Fort Myers Beach from the Pink Shell Resort (Here). Some of these cameras will only show if you run Java or Flash on your computer, so if you can't view one of them, just try another until you find the one that works best on your computer!

Sanibel Island Beaches
Island Inn Live Cam

Sanibel Island Florida
Pink Shell Live Cam

Fort Myers Beaches

Casa Ybel Live Cam

It's fun to watch our beach scenes and see what's going on while you're away. Sometimes you can watch our afternoon thunderstorms approach over the waters. Beautiful in an eerie sort of way.

If you are here and don't need a beach cam, you probably want to know what's going on for our 4th of July celebration. This information is from our Chamber of Commerce website and you can be sure of a great time! Our parade is great fun and fireworks are always super! For more details you can see the full schedule Here.

9:30 am - 24th Annual Independence Day Parade 
The parade starts at Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way and travels down Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road. (Periwinkle Way will be closed to auto traffic from 9:am to about 10:30am).

12:00 pm - 35th annual San-Cap Optimist's Road Rally
The rally begins at the Timbers restaurant parking lot. Entry form are available at the starting line. All proceeds benefit the local Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club's college scholarship

6:00pm - 9:00pm - Watch the fireworks in style at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. 

9:00pm Rain or Shine - 4th of July Fireworks Cruise.

Sanibel homes for sale

Captiva Island

Sanibel sunsets

Our islands offers lots of fun (or relaxing) things to do in the summer, and one of them is to start looking for your own piece of paradise! This summer we have a nice assortment of listings and I'd love to show you around. We currently have 202 homes listed from $310,000 all the way to $23 million. Definitely something for everyone! For condos we have 181 listings from $207,000 to $629,000. If building is something you would consider, we have 89 vacant lots from $159,900 to $3,740,000. Sanibel Beaches
Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form and I can get started finding you the perfect piece of property. If you let me know your specific criteria for the property you are looking for, I can do all the work and narrow down the properties for you to check out without wasting any of your island time. Sanibel Island florida
sanibel island real estate If you want to start the search yourself, I have a user friendly search engine on my website where you can input your criteria and search by location or by island map. Anything I can do to help you find the best property to fit your needs... I'd love to help!

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 21 2013

"Ding" Darling is back open for business!

After being closed for the summer for major road repairs, and general upgrades, the J.N. National Wildlife Refuge is back open for business! It was a rocky re-opening, as just when the Refuge was about to open, we had the federal government shutdown. When the Refuge finally opened this past Thursday, the refuge manager offered free admission for the day!  I took advantage of the opportunity and enjoyed a lovely bike ride, on the newly paved Wildlife Drive around 5:30 in the afternoon. The light was magical - low and glowing. There were some birds but the main thing I saw was a 4 foot aligator. I am really glad I jumped on my bike as the Refuge resumed its regular schedule and was closed on Friday!

We're happy to welcome back all the Refuge workers and we are looking forward to a busy year as we let our wildlife entertain us! With over 60% of Sanibel Island being preserve property, there is always something fun to see! See below for information about our ongoing "Ding Darling Days."

The main road, Wildlife Drive, has been resurfaced with concrete pavement for long life, as well as help with future road maintenance. Improvements were also made to the parking area, observation tower, Calusa Shell Mound Trail and the Wulfert Keys Trail.

The Refuge is one of Sanibel Island's major attractions and it's great to have it open to the public again.

If you are  in the area, or planning to visit, visiting the Wildlife Refuge is a must! There are three major trails as well as the four-mile main Wildlife Drive. There is the four-mile Indigo Trail, the quarter mile Shell Mound Trail and the quarter mile Wulfert Keys Trail.

And, of course, there is the visitor's center just next to the parking area. The Center tells the history of "Ding" as well as all the wildlife you can expect to see along the trails. Be sure to bring your camera!

The Refuge opened just in time for "Ding Darling Days," which offers events from tram tours, to wildlife presentations, and even fun things for the kids like archery. The event is underway from October 20 to October 26th. Stop on by and enjoy all there is to offer!

You can check out events for Ding Darling Days Here.

In other news, we had our first cold front last week where our temp dipped below 70 degrees! Although I think the dip happened in the middle of the night. Summer is definitely over and our daytime temps have been in the mid 80s. This means it's time for our part-time residents to return for our fantastic winter season. We also have a GREAT inventory of properties for sale on the islands. Contact me and can make you a Sanibel-Captiva Island resident! Whether it's a home, homesite or condo, I can find you the perfect place in paradise!

There is always something fun to do on the islands and it's time you made this area your home! Miles of beach, shopping, 20+ miles of bike/walking trails, the best restaurants, and lots and lots of natural environment for you to enjoy - Call Me Today!

239-691-4915

 

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

Posted by: AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 11 2013

Something for Everyone!

Our island condos have quite a bit to offer and I believe we have something for everyone! We are having a good year with condo sales, and we also have a great inventory for our upcoming season.

On Sanibel you have 107 condo complexes to choose from, and as a long-time island resident I can help you find just the right fit for you and your family. Some condos are geared more for owner use, and some are geared for rentals, and some are geared for both. I can help explain to you all the different choices. Shopping for condos can be fun!

Currently Sanibel Island has 130 condos listed for sale. Asking prices start at $169,000 for a 1/1 at Colonnades Condo to $2,999,900 for a 3/3.5 at Sedgemoor of Sanibel on the Gulf.

Listings show that 103 are gulf view or gulf front, 10 are on the bay, and 3 are on a canal.

The Sanibel condo market this year has been fairly busy with a total of 150 condos being under contract or closed since the first of the year.

Captiva Island has approximately 18 condo complexes, with a total of 56 condos currently listed for sale. Asking prices start from $225,000 for a 1/1 at Tennis Villas to $2,000,000 for a 3/3 located in South Seas Beach homes.

Captiva has had 33 condos either close or currently pending so far this year.

So! Is this your year to buy an island property? I think it should be! Prices are reasonable and have just started to climb. The housing problems seem to be behind us and it's again time for buyers to enter our market. Sanibel's beaches and sights are still here and are waiting for you. Give me a call today so I can start your search for the perfect island property.

I would also like to show you this video (left) made by one of our talented local videographers. This video shows our area in all its beauty. Take a few minutes to watch this video - and then give me a call so I can make you a part of this special area of the world!

Beaches, shelling, boating, restaurants, shopping, nature and privacy - you need look no further!

As you can tell, I love this area. I've lived here for years and love showing Sanibel and Captiva off to our visitors. Whether it's a gulf front on Captiva, a bay front with a dock, or an interior property near our National Wildlife Refuge, we have a bit of everything and I'm sure we have just the right place for you!

Call me Today!

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

Posted by: AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 01 2013

Golf Neighborhoods Sales and Listings

Sanibel and Captiva are known for shells, beaches, nature and relaxation - and, of course, golf! Sanibel has three golf neighborhoods and Captiva has one. Our local championship courses are a big draw for lots of buyers and visitors.

Let's take a look at our recent sales, and current listings in our golfing communities. Last year our golf neighborhoods had brisk sales, and this year appears to be the same!

Sanibel's golf neighborhoods consist of The Dunes, Beachview (recently renamed the Sanibel Golf Course), and the Sanctuary. The Dunes and Sanibel Golf Club are both public courses, the Sanctuary is members only.

For an update on current listings, Beachview has13 homes listed, from a 3/2 for $759,000 to a 4/4 for $1,595,000.

The Dunes currently has 8 homes listed, from a 3/2 for $540,000 to a 4/4 for $1,200,000.

The Sanctuary has 9 homes listed, from a 4/3.5 for $748,000 to a 5/5 for $3,495,000.

 

Besides having some fantastic listings in golf communites, sales show an active interest in these areas. Check out our current and past sales:

This year there have been 22 homes closed in the Dunes, with 2 pending closing.
Last year during the same time period (1/1/12 to 10/1/12), 19 Homes closed.

In Beachview this year there have been 10 homes closed.
In the same period last year, 8 homes closed.

For the Sanctuary, there have been 2 closings and one pending.
For last year during this period, there were 3 closings.

Captiva Island at the South Seas Resort has not seen the interest that we've seen on Sanibel. The South Seas Golf course is just for guests staying at the resort. 

There are currently 6 homes listed in South Seas, from a 4/3 for $1,895,000 to a 4/5 for $5,995,000.

There have been none sold so far this year.

I can help you search for properties in all the different communities on our islands! This is your year to buy. Call me today! We have some incredibly beautiful properties that I'd love to show you. Whether it's beach front, near beach, bayfront, home, homesite or condo... I have access to ALL our listed properties. As a long-time owner on Sanibel I can advise you on all the aspects of buying or building on our island paradise - Contact Me Today!

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

Posted by: AT 10:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 23 2013

The Latest Info On Near Beach Sanibel Sales

It's nice, in fact great, to see our Sanibel real estate market getting fully on its feet again! This year, and last year, have been a continuation of the national economic recovery. It helps that bank rates are continuing to be at historic lows and home prices are extemely reasonable.

Sanibel and Captiva real estate have always been in demand, and it was the economic downturn that dragged us down. Lots of people were just waiting for the recovery to start before they jumped back into the market. Sanibel and Captiva are incredible places to live! As a long-time Sanibel resident, I can definitely relate!

In this blog I want to take a look at our Sanibel near-beach home sales.

Currently we have 52 near-beach Sanibel homes listed. Asking prices start at $424,900 for a two bed, two bath, 1401 sq. ft. ground level home on Tahiti Drive, to a four bed, three bath, 6045 sq. ft. home on Dingman Drive for $2,495,000. There are currently 5 near-beach homes under contract and pending sale.

So far this year we've had 71 near-beach Sanibel homes sold (that's right! 71). The listing to sales price, so far this year, has been 91%.

We are on track toward a great year. Last year during the same period we had 70 near-beach Sanibel home sales, which shows that for two years our market has been healthy. This is a great time to start your search for island property - rising market, low rates, good inventory and reasonable sales prices.

For a snapshot of our current market listings:

Sanibel
Total home listings on Sanibel - 146
From a 3/1 on Court Place for $289,000, to a 3/5 for $23,000,000 on San-Cap Drive.
Total condo listings on Sanibel - 134
From a 1/1 at Spanish Cay for $$264,000, to Sedgemore Condo for $2,999,900.

Captiva
Total home listings on Captiva - 34
From a 3/2 on Dickey Lane for $879,000 to a 7 bedroom on Captiva Drive for $10,900,000
Total condo listings on Captiva - 30
From a 1/1 in Tennis Villas for $225,000 to a 3/3 Beach Home condo for $2,050,000.

Give me a call today to start your search for the perfect island property! I can do all the research for the property that fits your criteria and arrange for you to see it. If you're not on-island, no problem. I can send you photos and all the information you need to advance your search. I can find you just what you're looking for! In a few years there will be many who say, "If only I bought back in 2013 before prices and interest rates..."

Contact Me Today!

 

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com
Contact Me
 

 

Posted by: AT 12:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 04 2013

Another Tip To Help Sell Your Home

This tip is not just if you are selling your home unfurnished, staging your home can be done with your existing furniture. When potential buyers are looking at homes, yours is competing with all the other homes in the area in that price range, and you want to maximize your home's appeal.

You want your home to look cozy and warm. Some think that your home will look more roomy if you push your furniture against the wall - Not true! You should position your sofas and chairs into conversational groups, and in such a way as to show an obvious traffic pattern. This will open up the room and make it seem larger to potential buyers.

You can also shake things up a bit. Just because you have your favorite armchair in your den doesn't mean it won't look better in the sitting area in your bedroom. Try to look at your furniture with a new eye. If you have that "one room" that seems to be the place that gathers your junk, take notice and clean it!

Try moving your lamps and home accessories to places that will open your home and make it appear more airy and comfortable to buyers.

You can also repurpose a room into something that will add value. Something as easy as putting a table and a lamp in a stairwell nook will transform the area.

Lighting is another issue that you can easily change. To create a warm look you can increase the wattage in your lamps. The rule-of-thumb is to try and get a total of 100 watts for every 50 sq. ft., and you shouldn't depend on just one lighting fixture per room. You should have three types of lighting: general overhead, under cabinet, and table/wall lighting. You will be surprised how much difference lighting will make.

If you decide to paint a few rooms, keep the living room/den in neutral colors. A potential buyer might not like your experiment with bright colors. Just remember that everything you do to your home is to appeal to buyers, not you or your family.

For your bedroom, add some luxurious linens with colors that make potential buyers feel comfortable and, hopefully, at home. Also, cleaning out your larger closets will show off your roomy storage areas, which helps sell houses!

My last posts talked about removing clutter, and curb appeal, and along with staging your home for a sale, all of it fits together to help your home stand far above your competition.

The real estate market is definitely picking up and your competition is doing all they can to get their home sold! I can help you with all your home selling needs and I am looking forward to helping you get your home sold fast, and for a good price.

If you are thinking of selling this year - It's Time To Call Me!

Contact Me

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

Posted by: AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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
Wednesday, August 14 2013

Everything You Need In A Homesite!

My new listing is a homesite located at 2512 Wulfert Road in the Sanctuary at Wulfert. The Sanctuary is located off Sanibel-Captiva Road near the northern end of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. This area is close to one of my favorite beaches, Blind Pass. It seems like every time I walk this beach I see people finding the best shells, fishing, and just relaxing under an umbrella.

This homesite measures 112 by 155 by 112 by 154 feet. This very large duplex lot has approximately 7,000 sq. ft. of impermeable coverage. The asking price is $259,500.

The property has terrific views overlooking the water to the 17th fairway and adjoining Sanctuary property.

Privacy and serene comfort would not be understating what this site has to offer. More information and a location map can be found here.

Equity and social membership to the Sanctuary Golf Club are available for purchase, but not required. You can check out my website Sanctuary condo page as well as watch a video of the Sanctuary area for some photos of what the Sanctuary has to offer.

If you are looking for a great location to build your home, this might be just the location for you! I also have another lot listed near this location with waterfront access to Pine Island Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Check it out here.

As a long time resident of Sanibel Island who has also had a home built on the island, I can help you with all the necessities of getting your home ideas off the ground! Building your own home can he a fun challenge and a rewarding experience... so call me today to get started!

Contact Me!

 

Our summer is ending and we are gearing up for the return of our "snowbirds" as they come back for another fun winter season. Property values have been heading up and we are definitely on the rebound from the property value lows of a couple years ago.

I have access to ALL the island listings and I'm positive I can find just the right property for you! Give me a call at 239-691-4915, or use my Property Search feature on my website to start yoru own property search. You can search by map, price, location, size or just about any other criteria you want!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you, so... Call Me Today!

Contact Me!

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

 

Posted by: AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 02 2013

Our Wildlife Get A Makeover

Okay, so maybe our wildlife doesn't get a makeover, but Wildlife Drive does! Wildlife Drive, the main road through the Refuge, is being re-paved and is expected to reopen October 1, 2013.

The good news is that the rest of the Refuge will remain open. You can still visit the Education Center (free), and also enjoy everything on the summer program schedule - click here for the full list!

This is from the press release about the closure, "This construction project will replace the existing open-grade pavement on Wildlife Drive with an asphalt concrete pavement. Existing and newly planted vegetation will help filter runoff. Portions of the shoulder currently used for parking will be reinforced and/or topped with crushed stone/gravel to prevent erosion and additional runoff.

Check our my Refuge Video above!

The Press Release continues, "The new surface will be an asphalt concrete that will extend the life of Wildlife Drive for 20 years, and will enhance visitor access, especially for bicyclists and pedestrians. Indigo Trail will only be accessible through guided tours conducted by Tarpon Bay Explorers. All other refuge access locations, including Tarpon Bay Recreation Area and the Bailey Tract will remain open."

This means you should still come and check it out! A guided tour along the Indigo Trail would really make your day. All the wildlife along Wildlife Drive can also be found along the Indigo Trail, and the Visitor Center is a great place to learn about our area as well as cool off before heading to the Bailey Tract area (also  open!).

J.N. Darling Website

 

We love our local wildlife and it makes sense to take care of our protected areas. In case you didn't know, Sanibel is over 60% preserve property. We take our natural surrounding seriously... and it's worth it. As a long-time Sanibel resident, I can assure you our Sanibel lifestyle is something you should try! Contact me for information about making the move to Sanibel Island!

If you want to check out the live web-cam of the improvements being made to the Refuge, Click Here. Maybe you will see one of our alligators checking out his new road! I was just checking out the webcam and I think this might be a great way to watch one of our sunsets over the lagoon. Take a look and email me about anything interesting you see!

This is the week of our July 4th events and if you're in the area come check us out! Our parade (always a good time) starts at 9:30 a.m. The Parade Route will begin at Tarpon Bay Road on Periwinkle Way and end at Casa Ybel Road.

And yes, we will have fireworks! They start around 8:45 p.m. (dusk) and will be launched from the north end of Bailey Road. You can check out all the fourth events Here at the City of Sanibel website.

As always, I'm here and ready to help you become my island neighbor! Our summer is a great time to start your search for the perfect property. Whether it's a home, homesite or condo, I've got access to ALL the listings! Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you... Call Now!

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 19 2013

Time to Pay Attention to the Weather

 

Okay, we never want to think about hurricanes, but we have to and it's this time of year we need to refresh our memory on what to do. The main goal in a hurricane is to Stay Safe! And usually that means to evacuate low-lying areas. That means our islands. With hurricanes we are lucky that they usually come with a few days warning and we have lots of time to secure our homes, secure our boats, and plan where we want to go if a storm becomes imminent. Our local officials usually give the evacuation call and it's a good idea to pay attention to their advice.

One of our best tools to help us follow a storm is a tracking chart. Some people have them on their refrigerators, or thumb-tacked to a wall. The picture to the left is a good tracking chart and you can click on the photo (or here) and then save/print the large PDF version.

It's almost fun to follow the storms as they make their way across the Atlantic Ocean, but the fun rapidly changes as the "cone of probability" includes our area.

To the right is a video of our annual hurricane awareness seminar put together by our local officials. They cover lots of facts and "need to know" things that might save lives.

The speakers go over some pretty interesting trivia (hurricanes were first named after women when an Australian meteorologist got mad at his ex-girlfriend), to more important information (what supplies you need when you return to no electricity). It's a good idea to watch the video all the way through.

Below are three links that help you understand our tropical storms and hurricanes, and ways to prepare for them, and follow them on local radar. The local radar loop is also good just to check your daily weather and plan your day.

Government Emergency Information

Hurricane FEMA information

Local Loop Weather Radar

 

So that's enough about bad weather! This week our weather is fantastic and it's a great time to shop for island property. Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form. I promise to work as hard as possible to find you the perfect island home. Give me a call... the island lifestyle awaits!


Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 12 2013

Have Fun Boating!

 

Lots of visitors, and yes locals too, haven't ever taken the time to visit our neighboring islands. There are lots of ways for you to get to these great destinations and I'll get to that in a minute.

First (pictured to the right) is Cabbage Key! Always a favorite. This is a small back-bay island about 100 acres in size. There are a few walking trails, a water tower to climb, and a very famous and laid-back restaurant. One of the most interesting aspects of the restaurant are the thousands of dollar bills taped to the walls. Visitors are given a marker to sign their bills and tape to stick them anywhere on the walls where they can find space. The tape will hold the bill for a year or two and then the fallen dollars are donated to local charities.

 

Cabbage Key Website

Cabbage is a great location to make some memories, have lunch, and even stay the night if you want. There are only a few rooms to rent, but it's sure to be a fun stay!

 

 

Just a stones throw away from Cabbage Key is Useppa Island. Useppa is a private Club, but you can enjoy their restaurant and tour the island if you make prior reservations. You can also take one of the scheduled tour boats from Captiva Island to Useppa.

 

Useppa Island Website

 

Another great destination is the next barrier island just to the north of Captiva Island, called Upper Captiva Island. Locals just refer to it as "North Cap." This island is three miles long, but only the northern mile has infrastructure to support a community. The electricity/phone comes from an underwater cable from Captiva, and has been run underground throughout this northern area. The island has four restaurants, a private air strip, and over 200 homes.

The most popular restaurant, which also has lots of dockage, is called "Barnacle's". Owners and guests get around on the shell roads by golf/electric cart. This magical island is worth a visit!

Just to the north of Upper Captiva, the next island is called Cayo Costa. Most of this island is a state park and there are no restaurants (or electricity) on the island. You can go to Cayo Costa and spend the day on the miles and miles of deserted beach, or you can rent a small cabin and spend the night... or week! It's a great getaway for your family and might be the perfect place to relax and just enjoy nature.

 

Cayo Costa State Park

 

 

 

The ways to get to these islands start at our many marinas on the islands. These are a few links to give you some choices:

65' Lady Chadwick
New Moon Sailing
'Tween Waters Charter Guides
Jensen's charters and boat rentals
South Seas Resort Marina

So now you have no excuse not to visit our local neighborhood of really cool islands! The above links will also direct you to sunset sails, shelling trips and fishing guides. Captain Mick Gurley aboard New Moon Sailing is also available for romantic sunset weddings!

I hope you enjoy our incredible island community, and as always, call me at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form to get started on your perfect island property. Homes, condos, homesites... I will help you find the perfect fit for you and your family!

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915
www.SarahAshton.com

Posted by: AT 09:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 03 2013

Take a Tour!

 

Did you know you can take a quick tour of some of our favorite neighborhoods? I've been putting together web pages and videos of Sanibel and Captiva for you to enjoy as you start your search of island properties. Our summer weather is almost here and it's a great time to enjoy all the sights and fun things to do on the islands. Besides searching for your island home, summer is great for birding, fishing, shelling and just enjoying miles and miles of our word famous beach!

Captiva Island

 

Play VisualTour
"Downtown" Captiva

 

Play VisualTour
Sunset Captiva

 

Play VisualTour
Gulf Ridge

 

Play VisualTour
Sea Oats

 

Play VisualTour
Seaspray

 

Play VisualTour
Sanibel Bayous

 

By watching these videos you can get an idea of what each neighborhood has to offer. I also have a web page for each area in my website's "Near Beach" section. It's a great place to start to explore our islands! I also have pages dedicated to the Lighthouse, Wildlife Refuge and a video tour of Sanibel's eastern end. As well as the information in my website, I'd love for you to use my contact form, or call me at 239-691-4915, so I can put together information for you for your perfect island property!

 

Play VisualTour
Bayous North

 

Play VisualTour
Herons Landing II

 

Play VisualTour
Herons Landing

 

Play VisualTour
The Dunes

 

Play VisualTour
The Sanctuary

 

Play VisualTour
Lake Murex

 

Play VisualTour
West Rocks

 

Play VisualTour
East Rocks

 

Play VisualTour
Beachview
When you're looking for something to do this summer I can help you explore and learn about my favorite place, Sanibel Island. I'm a long-time resident of Sanibel Island, and I love to show off what these islands have to offer. Royal Shell Real Estate has offices on Captiva Island as well as Sanibel Island and I have access to every listed property! Call Me! 239-691-4915

 

Play VisualTour
Seagull Estates

 

Play VisualTour
Sea Oats

 

Play VisualTour
Chateaux Sur Mer

It's June already and I'm getting ready for another busy summer. I am never too busy to help you and your family and friends with their island real estate! I'm looking forward do hearing from you and I hope you enjoy my video tours!

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
www.SarahAshton.com
239-691-4915

Posted by: AT 10:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 15 2013

Fantastic New Listing!

 

This is a great new listing at one of our most popular condos! Nutmeg Village is located at 2777 West Gulf Drive - directly on the Gulf of Mexico!

This is a first floor condo with views of the pool and Gulf. Nutmeg offers tennis, shuffle-board, a large pool with deck, under building parking, and miles and miles of Sanibel's famous beach! The landscaping is beautiful.

This is unit 105 and it's being offered furnished with some exceptions. You can just pack your toothbrush and move right in! The views are stunning and the condo is true comfort and style!

This two bedroom, two bath condo was thoroughly remodeled and renovated, being designed for graciousness and comfort.

 

Check out the Tour!

The kitchen has been opened up has the best in counters, cabinets and appliances. The lanai is now part of the living space with the sliders removed. The open flow makes it feel like home from the moment you walk in.

This condo should definitely be put on your "must see" list if you are interested in Sanibel living at its best!

Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my contact form for more information about this great listing! Nutmeg is always a favorite and if you have been looking for condos on Sanibel, this one will fit all your criteria!

 

More Listing Information Here

You can tell I'm excited about this unit - location, location, location!

Our winter season has ended, and our summer season isn't quite here yet, and that means it's the perfect time to start your search for island property! The weather is perfect, the crowds are gone, and our beaches are waiting...

 

Contact Me TODAY!

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

Posted by: AT 11:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 29 2013

Our World Famous Beach Community!

Click the above map for an explanation of beach access points!

 

Let's face it, Sanibel Island is most famous for its beaches. Sure we have incredible wildlife preserves, restaurants, shops and bike trails, but the shells and the beach are what people suffering through cold winters are thinking about. Sanibel has about 11 miles of incredible beach and Captiva Island has about four miles of beach. Sanibel has public beach access points as well as restricted beach access areas. You can use an interactive map HERE to point out each area.

Our beaches have a bit of everything. Near the eastern end (Lighthouse pics and info) you have, public parking, great views of Fort Myers Beach, and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and San Carlos Bay on the inland side.

Sanibel's Historic Lighthouse is always worth the visit, even if you don't want to spend your day at the beach.

People are always asking me where the best shells are, and the answer to that varies with the weather. After a storm, or strong wind and waves off the Gulf, you can find shells just about anywhere along our beaches.

But for a definitive answer for "most likely" spots in any weather, I'd have to say Boman's Beach ("C" on the above map), which offers public parking and restrooms. I also like Blind Pass Beach ("B" on the map) for shelling. Blind Pass also has public parking.

All of the beach access points on the above map allow walkers and bike riders access to the beach. For residents and property owners with a parking permit obtained at the Rec Center, there is limited parking. Our beaches are open year-round and you will never have to fight the crowds you find in Fort Myers Beach or at many of our Florida beaches. On Sanibel you can even take your dog (just keep him/her leashed!).

How can you go wrong with all Sanibel and Captiva Islands have to offer? Come on down and check us out!

While you're walking along doing the "Sanibel Stoop" as you look for shells, check out some of the homes along our shoreline. I can help you find the perfect home, condo or homesite on, or near, the beach. This is a great time to look for Sanibel real estate - our winter crowds have gone and the summer heat is still months away. We have a good inventory of reasonably prices properties and I can help you from offer to closing!

As a long-time island resident I'd love to meet you and show you what's available on our islands! Give me a call now at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form and we can get started on your perfect island property!

 

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

Posted by: AT 11:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 15 2013

Miles and Miles of Fun!

You can add over 20 miles of mixed use biking/walking trails to the list of things Sanibel Island has to offer. No matter where you are staying on the island, it's a pretty good bet that one of our bike paths passes nearby.

You can take a bike ride to the Sanibel Lighthouse, or maybe to one of the many public beach access locations. Most restaurants and shops also have areas to safely leave your bike.

For an interactive map you can Click Here and check out more information about our bike path routes.

Not only can you walk or bike on the paths, you can sign up for a Segway lesson and tour! Through Billy's Bikes on Periwinkle Way, you can learn how to ride a Segway and tour the island, or rent one of their many different bike choices. Billys is just one of many places that offer bikes for rent.

We also have a Sanibel Island Bike Club for all levels of bikers. They plan different rides and events around the island as well as teaching safe biking and the rules of the road. The map at the top of this blog is from the Bike Club and you can find it online as a downloadable PDF Here or by just clicking on the map.

From Periwinkle Way all the way to Blind Pass Beach on Captiva Island, this is one of the best ways to get to know our island paradise!

With 60% of Sanibel being wildlife preserve, you can bike or walk on secluded paths while bird watching or just enjoying our abundance of wildlife. The world famous J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve is a great place to spend the day as you explore miles of trails through our island wetlands. This summer Wildlife Drive in the Ding Darling Preserve will be closed for repaving and bridge repair, so contact me and I can give you the closure dates and an update on how long it will take to re-open.

Come and enjoy everything our islands have to offer! From our historic sites to miles and miles of great shelling on our beaches, there are many reasons to consider Sanibel Island real estate!

Our "season" is winding down and this is a great time to visit Sanibel and Captiva Islands! The crowds are thinning out and we have some terrific properties on the market. Whether you are interested in a home, condo or homesite, I want to help you find the perfect property!

Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form and we can start the search for your home in paradise! As a long-time island resident, I know every area of the island and I'm sure we can get your dreams fulfilled!

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

Posted by: AT 08:35 am   |  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, March 26 2013

SarahAshton.com - The Best Place To Start!

This week I would like to point out some of the fun and useful things that you can do with my website! From interesting facts about Sanibel and Captiva Islands to informative videos of our neighborhoods and condos, this is a one-stop site for all your island questions.

The Captiva video on the  right is a great way to check out Captiva Island and what it has to offer. I also have a Captiva webpage, a "Downtown" Captiva webpage along with links to our restaurants and marinas! I also have a video of my Gulf front Captiva listing for you to enjoy.

Captiva is world famous for its beaches, sights and quaint style and I'd love to be able to show you around!

If you want to search for properties, my site has the most modern and useful search engine you will find. You can search with whatever criteria you wish, or by map (left), or subdivision or condo. It's easy to use and you can save your searches and email your results to friends and relatives.

I even have a page of important numbers you might need when you decide to move to the islands.

As you drive around the island checking out which areas or condos look good to you, you can use my mobile site as you travel around the island. You can search properties with your smart phone or tablet as well as learn about the area and what it has to offer.

If you want to check out Sanibel before you get to the island, I have a couple of videos I made of the east end of the island. It's a great place to start! Click Here! I'm also proud of a video I have of one of Sanibel Island's most popular sites - The J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

As for our local neighborhoods and condos, my condo page and neighborhood page have links to each area along with video tours of each area. This is a wonderful way to check out all the different areas of the island without leaving your home!

Each area has local information, an area map and virtual tour of the neighborhood or condo!

Other fun things you can do on my website -
How about a visit to our lighthouse?
Check out where our miles and miles of walking/bike trails lead!
How about how to go "Green" or to download my Green Guide!
Check out my listings along with videos!
Tips for the Buyer and the Seller!
And, of course, Contact Me for answers to ALL your questions!
Or you can just connect with me on Facebook or Pinterest!

My site has lots more to offer and please feel free to check out all my pages and links!

When it's time for you to buy or sell I'll be there for you! I am a long-time island resident and I love to show off my islands! This is your year to follow your heart to Sanibel And Captiva Islands!

Call Me!
239-691-4915
or use my Contact Form

Thanks!
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate, Captiva & Sanibel

 

Posted by: AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 15 2013
Gulf Front Gulfside Place, Sanibel Island

 

This week I want to talk about Sanibel real estate and another fantastic gulf front condo - Gulfside Place. Located at 1605 Middle Gulf Drive, this condo has just about everything you need. It's perfect for either personal use or to put in the rental program - or both!

Gulfside has 2/2 units as well as 3/2 units. You can check out my Gulfside Place webpage and  Virtual Tour Here!
 
Gulfside Place has easy access to Sanibel's miles and miles of beautiful sand and shell beach. You can also jump on the over 20 miles of walking/biking paths that pass right in front of Gulfside.

Sanibel has so much to offer and Gulfside Place is the perfect location to take advantage of all Sanibel has to offer.
 
  Gulfside has two large swimming pools (both with beautiful gulf views) and six tennis courts for your enjoyment. An exercise room is available for you, as well as BBQ areas.

The Sanibel Island lifestyle is waiting and I'm sure I can find just the right place for you! Condo, home or vacant homesite - I can show you all the listings available.
  Currently there is one condo listed at Gulfside Place, a two bedroom, two bath listed for $955,000. This unit has been completely remodeled and overlooks the gardens, pool and Gulf of Mexico.

Gulfside is a popular location and always in demand. Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my contact form for all the latest listings at Gulfside Place!
I have information on ALL the listings for Sanibel Island, Captiva Island and Fort Myers, so contact me with any questions you might have for our islands. I am a long-time resident of Sanibel and I'd love to speak with you and talk about my home island as well as all our surrounding areas!

Our "season" is here and we have a great inventory of available properties. Interest rates are still at historic lows and prices are reasonable - This is the year for you to consider our islands!
 
  If you aren't quite ready to buy, I can insert your search criteria into my automated system and you will be emailed every new listing that fits your needs! No hassle and no pressure!

We can search using just about any criteria you want - price, size, location, pool, condo, home or homesite!

Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or through my  Website.

Thanks!
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 12:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 27 2013
Our own river on Sanibel Island!

The Sanibel River - We wouldn’t be Sanibel without it!

One of the things that makes Sanibel Island a truly unique place is that abundance of wildlife.  Birds, reptiles, and mammals of all types have made Sanibel home. The reason they can do this and flourish - The Sanibel River. 
 
  I recently read a really interesting article by Ed Brotak in Times of the Islands that brought forth some very interesting facts about the Sanibel River.

• It is actually a Slough, not a river.
• A Slough is an area of freshwater lowlands
• Because there is very little elevation change on Sanibel, the water in the River does not consistently flow in one direction
• The water levels in the Sanibel River are directly related to rainfall
• There are two Weirs that control the water levels in the river.
• SCCF – the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation was created in 1967 and has as a top priority the preservation of Sanibel’s freshwater wetlands.

If you would like to learn more about this unique feature on Sanibel Island, stop by the SCCF Nature Center.  From there you can view the river from their Observation Tower and learn more about the ecology of the island.  
And if you think it's time to become a part of our Sanibel Island lifestyle, I am ready to help you search for the perfect Sanibel Island Real Estate! Just give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my Contact Form!

Our season is in full swing and our weather is as perfect as it can be! No snow, no ice, no winter storm warnings. Come on down and relax on our beaches and enjoy our wildlife!
Give me a call today!
Thanks!
Sarah
Posted by: AT 08:04 am   |  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, January 31 2013

Is remodeling your home part of your Spring plans?  It may be a good idea to check on the Return on Investment for home improvement projects, particularly if the projects are in advance of trying to sell your house.
Remodeling Magazine just came out with their top returning home improvement projects and they found that replacing the Entry Door (never diminish the importance of Curb Appeal) returned roughly 85% of the cost.  Other more costly projects such as Re-siding the house or a total kitchen upgrade returned 79% and 71% respectively but may also provide more enjoyment if you are staying for a while.

To see what other types of improvements they cited as having a good return, Click Here!



Happy Re-modeling

Lots of new listings and things to know about our islands! Give me a call!
Thanks!
Sarah
239-691-4915
Posted by: AT 10:16 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
Monday, November 26 2012
A total "Don't Miss It" while on Sanibel Island is the Sanibel Island Farmers Market
It is gem in the truest sense.  Aside from having local produce at good prices, the Farmers Market also has vendors that can provide you with ingredients for meals for the week.  Whether that is bread, cheese, pasta, sauces, fish or pastries, you can find a variety of yummy locally grown or produced products.
My husband and I got there late yesterday - it runs from 8am to 1pm on Sundays, November thru April, and we got the additional bonus of getting discounted prices on the produce.  The vendors did not want to go home with it so better to sell it at a discount.
Likely the best part of the Market is the community building.  Not that Sanibel lacks for a sense of community but this simple weekly event pulls everyone out.  There hasn't been a Sunday when we haven't run into several friends here.  The relaxed time allows for catching up and the ability to bring along 4 legged friends on leashes ads to the community flavor (I do believe we are the dog capital of SW Florida as well as being #1 on Frommers list). 
Do stop by and check it out for yourself.  It is held behind City Hall on Dunlop Road.  I hope to see you there soon!
Thanks! And as always contact me for the latest Sanibel Island real estate information!
Sarah
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, November 18 2012

Our Favorite Sanctuary - Ding Darling

The J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge is known worldwide for its mangrove ecosystem and its incredible migratory bird population. It's also an easy way for visitors to enjoy nature and learn about our wildlife through our educational Visitor's Center. Driving and walking trails through the Refuge allow people to get close to our island wildlife.

Wildlife drive is a five-mile loop road that takes you through the 6,400 acre preserve. Over 220 species of birds call the sanctuary home and low tide is the best time to watch them feed and play in the shallow salt water and fresh water flats.

At the entrance to the Refuge there is the Visitor's Center where you can explore the in-depth workings of our mangrove ecosystem. There is also a hands-on area for kids!

To tour the preserve you can sign up for a narrated tram tour, or you can walk, bike or take your own car. Besides Wildlife Drive, there is the four-mile Indigo Trail, the quarter-mile Wulfert Keys Trail and the quarter-mile Shell Mound Trail. You can also tour by canoe or kayak! Just be sure to remember your camera.

Fishing is allowed and you can relax while fishing for snook, redfish, sheepshead or sea trout. The Visitor's Center can fill you in on what's in season and where to fish. Boating is also allowed in designated areas of the Refuge.
In 1967 the sanctuary was renamed for the political cartoonist Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling. Ding was an avid conservationist and in 1945 he was instrumental in having President Harry Truman sign an Executive order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge. Currently approximately 2,800 acres are designated by Congress as a Wilderness Area.

The Refuge offers much more than I can mention in this blog, and you can find more information at this Website. You can also visit my new webpage and check out my video of the Refuge. You can see roseate spoonbills along with egrets and herons feeding on the flats. You can check out the video Here!

I hope you remember to make time for a visit to the Refuge on your next island visit, but until then, please give me a call at 239-691-4915, or use my contact form for all the latest information about my special islands! Miles and miles of beach, our historic lighthouse, condos, homes and vacant land - this is the year for you to explore Sanibel and Captiva real estate!

Thanks!
Sarah
Posted by: AT 04:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 26 2012
The Luxury Gulf Front Sedgemoor Condos 
 
This time I want to tell you about another of our popular gulf front condos! Sedgemoor of Sanibel is located at 2529 West Gulf Drive, close to wildlife preserve properties, shopping and our favorite restaurants!
Sedgemoor has only 12 units, and every unit is gulf front! The 3956 sq. ft. units are three bedroom, three bath so they are perfect for you and your guests, or to put in a rental program.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped and serene. Sedgemoor is the perfect place to relax and enjoy our Sanibel lifestyle!
Currently there are two units available, one is listed for $2,499,000 and the other at $2,999,000. Both listings are three bedroom, three bath. Both units are fully furnished and the condo listed for $2,999,000 is a penthouse suite!

If Sedgemoor sounds like something you might be interested in, please
contact me and I can fill you in on all the details of these great condo units.
For more information about Sedgemoor you can check out my Sedgemoor webpage! I also have a virtual tour of this property for you check out.

You can also view other Sanibel condos, as well at watch virtual tours, by going to
my condos page and picking your favorite condo from the menu on the left.
Everyone seems to agree that our real estate market is gaining speed and prices are starting to rise, so now is the time for you to seriously start thinking about island property! Interest rates are still very low and our inventory of homes, condos and land has something for everyone!

Our beaches are waiting! Give me a call at 239-691-4915 and we can talk about your next step!
If you aren't ready to buy, but you know you will be interested in the future, I can enter your buying criteria into my automatic system and you will be emailed each new listing that fits what you're looking for as soon as the new listing becomes available! No pressure, no hassle, no problem!

Thanks for reading my blog and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Sarah
 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 29 2012
Luxury Sanibel Living

Located at 3131 West Gulf Drive, Wedgewood of Sanibel is a true luxury condo. Wedgewood has only 18 units so you feel like you have the whole complex to yourself.

This condo is gulf front and no units are more than a few steps away from miles and miles of Sanibel's best beaches!

Wedgewood is close to the island's best restaurants and shopping. It is also located just steps from The Bailey Tract conservation property. This 100-acre tract has lots of trails and bird watching to enjoy! You can check out the walking trails here.

Sanibel is over 60% conservation property (The largest being the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge) and you have over 20 miles of biking/walking trails to help you explore.

Currently there is only one condo available at Wedgewood, a three bedroom, three bath penthouse unit listed at $1,349,000. This fully furnished corner unit has 3,222 total sq. ft. and has a private roof top sundeck. If this condo sounds perfect for you, or you want me to put you on my "alert" list for future listings, please contact me here, or give me a call at 239-691-4915

Our summer is in full swing and this is a great time to start thinking about Sanibel real estate or Captiva real estate! Mortgage rates are still at historic lows and real estate prices are just starting to inch upward.

No matter what criteria you have (price, size, location, etc.) I can put your email address into my system and you will be automatically sent information on any new listings that fits your dream property! Let me help you!

I have lived on Sanibel for many years and I can explain all the benefits of living with nature on Sanibel Island. We have so much to do on our islands and we are just a short drive across the causeway to Fort Myers. Even Disney World and all the theme parks are just a few hours drive.

Florida is all you think it is! We love it here.

For more information, and a virtual tour, about Wedgewood of Sanibel you can visit my Wedgewood webpage.

I also have lots of other condos listed here, as well as information about Captiva Island and even a "Welcome to Captiva" video!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!

Sarah
Posted by: AT 08:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 03 2012
Ocean's Reach

Located at 2230 Camino Del Mar Drive on Sanibel Island, The Ocean's Reach condominium is another island favorite! This condo has 64 units that are ALL direct gulf front! The views are spectacular and unforgettable.

The travel website TripAdvisor has voted Ocean's Reach as the number one place to stay on Sanibel.

The units are either one bedroom, one bath or two bedroom, two bath - perfect for personal use or to put in the rental program as income property.

The first Sanibel property to be named a "Florida Green Lodge," Ocean's Reach offers a heated pool with a view of the gulf, picnic areas, gas grills, bike rentals, beach chairs and umbrellas, tennis, basketball, shuffleboard, an osprey nest (with webcam) and even a butterfly garden.

Currently there is one condo listed at Ocean's Reach, a two bedroom, two bath listed at $829,990. This is a popular resort/condo and if you want to be notified when a new listing becomes available, just contact me and I can be sure you are kept well informed! I can put you into an automatic system that notifies you for whatever real estate criteria you are looking for.

To see more about this terrific condo you can go to my Ocean's Reach webpage. You can also check out my Ocean's Reach visual tour to locate the resort on a map.

Our summer is in full swing and I'm happy to say we are still busy and beach goers and shell seekers are out and enjoying our islands!

Summer is a favorite time for locals and visitors alike. The fishing, shelling, wildlife preserves and all we have to offer is at its best!

If you are lonely for Sanibel and Captiva, please give me a call (239-691-4915) or use my contact form and I can keep you updated on what I believe are the best real estate deals for you to consider!

Come on down and relax and enjoy!

Thanks!
Sarah
Posted by: AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 19 2012
 The Dunes!

This week I want to introduce you to The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club near the causeway on Sanibel Island.

The Dunes Website describes the Dunes as, "a lush Sanibel Island golf course and club destination nestled amid an abundant natural landscape," and I have to agree! The Dunes is definitely an all time favorite!

The 18-hole championship golf course is open to the public. The golf course was designed by 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber.

The Dunes subdivision consists of approximately 215 properties surrounding the golf course and Sanibel's natural environment. There are single family homes as well as duplex homes.

If tennis is your game, The Dunes has 13 Har-Tru tennis courts and offers daily services such as clinics, lessons, assistance with scheduling match play and junior tournament training.

You can also fill in your day by visiting The Dunes Restaurant located at the clubhouse. Known for their delicious Angus Beef, the restaurant also offers one of the best views as you enjoy your meal.

Located close to shopping, the bay, and some of our best beaches near the Sanibel Lighthouse, The Dunes is always a popular place for locals.

There are currently 13 listings available. Asking prices range from a three bed, two and a half bath for $324,900 (2160 sq. ft.) to a three bed, three bath for $1,200,000 (8490 sq. ft.).

The Dunes is always worth a look if you are in the market for Sanibel property!

Along with everything The Dunes has to offer, Sanibel Island has lots to keep you busy. We have miles and miles of famous beach as well as over 60% of the island being preserve property. Our most popular conservation property being the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

When you finish with play, shopping on Sanibel is always a fun time! We have some of the best boutique shops for you to discover.

As always, please contact me for any local information you need! I live here and I'm always excited to talk about everything Sanibel and Captiva Islands have to offer!

For more information about The Dunes and to watch a visual tour, just check out this webpage!

It's summer and a great time to start thinking about some of the great properties we have available. Interest rates are at historic lows and prices are reasonable - now's the time!

Thanks!
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 10 2012

Sanibel Island's By the Sea condo 

Located at 2611 West Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island, By the Sea gulf front condo is always a fun place for owners and returning guests!

By the Sea is centrally located and just a short bike ride to Bailey's Shopping Center and some of the Island's best restaurants.

This condo development is on the small side with only 18 Units (six units per building), but being small is one of its best attributes! Quiet and relaxing, with all the amenities is what By the Sea is all about.

Miles and miles of Sanibel's best beaches are just steps away! Along with our famous shelling, fishing and over 20 miles of biking/walking trails, By the Sea might be just the place for you!

Being a small condo, this means the units are short on supply and high on demand! The last few sales have been in the $1.2 million range and currently there aren't any units available.

If By the Sea is the type of condo you are looking for, give me a call (239-691-4915) or use my Contact Form and I can get you on an alert list where you will be automatically notified if one of the units becomes available.

Whether it's the pool, tennis court or just an umbrella on the beach, By the Sea could be the perfect place for you to enjoy yourself, and then put into a rental program when you can't be there yourself.

You can see more of By the Sea on This Webpage, as well as watch a visual tour of the property (View tour).

Our summer is here and it would be a great time for you to come and visit! From what we see of the weather reports from "up north," you can cool off under our Florida sun while I show you properties and find you your perfect piece of paradise!

Thanks!
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 08:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 15 2012
 Breakers West
One of our favorite, and popular locations, for owners and returning guests is the Breakers West Condo located at 3041 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island.
Built in 1972, and just steps to the beach, Breakers West is available for weekly rentals. There is an onsite rental office for the convenience of owners and returning guests.
The condo is on the small side with only 18 two bedroom, two bath units. The unit sizes are 1250 square feet and overlook the pool and manicured grounds.

Currently there are no units for sale, but if you are interested I can keep an eye out for units being listed and contact you right away! As with any Sanibel or Captiva property, just Contact Me and I can help you with your island dream!

To see a tour of this property you can Click Here for a visual tour, or Here to check out my Breakers West webpage.

Pictured to the right is the beach in front of Breakers West! Our beaches are famous for shelling, fishing or just relaxing in the sun!

If you want a bit of exercise before taking a dip in the cool waters, Sanibel has over 20 miles of biking/walking trails for you to enjoy!

This is a great time for you to investigate all the properties available on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Prices are very reasonable and mortgage rates are at historic lows. I am an island resident and I would love to show you my islands as well as answer your questions concerning Sanibel real estate and Captiva Island real estate!Contact me!!

Also, I just had a HUGE reduction in price for one of my listings! A 1/2 duplex located at 1390 Middle Gulf Drive in Sea Pines subdivision. This home is just steps to the beach! The unit was $579,000 and now the current asking price is $485,000, making this an incredible deal! CLICK HERE to check it out and watch a visual tour of the property!

Thanks for visiting my blog! 
Sarah

Posted by: AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 28 2012
The Sanctuary Condos
The Heron, The Ibis, The Golf Village

One of the nicest areas of Sanibel Island is the Sanctuary at Wulfert Point. The Sanctuary offers an Arthur Hills Championship 18 hole golf course for members and their guests.

Membership also includes a Clubhouse, Fitness Center, Pool and Tennis Courts.

 

There are vacant properties available from $199,900 to $949,000. Homes are currently available from $995,000 to $2,999,000. The Sanctuary is located on the northwestern end of Sanibel just a couple miles from Captiva Island. The beaches are close by as well as access to the over 20 miles of biking and walking trails.

There are three condos located at the Sanctuary: The Ibis, The Heron and The Golf Village.

Pictured to the right is the Ibis Condo. Currently the Ibis has five listed condos ranging from $377,500 to $475,000. All the listed units are two bedroom, two bath.

For more information on The Ibis and a video tour - Click Here

Pictured to the right, is the Heron Condo. Currently the Heron Condos are listed from $499,900 to $619,000. The Heron is beautiful and comes with its own pool.

For more information on The Heron and a video tour - Click Here

And there is also the Golf Village (pictured right). Currently the Golf Village has three listed units from $450,000 to $699,500. All the Sanctuary condos are worth the look! Contact me for all the latest Sanctuary info! 

For more information on The Sanctuary Golf Village and a video tour - Click Here

This is a great time for you to investigate all the properties available on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Prices are very reasonable and mortgage rates are at historic lows. I am an island resident and I would love to show you my islands as well as answer your questions concerning Sanibel real estate and Captiva Island real estate! Contact me!!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 01:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 15 2012

Shell Island Beach Club

Located at 255 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island, Shell Island Beach Club is always a favorite! This condo is direct gulf front on the eastern end of Sanibel, just a short walk to the Sanibel Lighthouse.

Whether you want to walk for miles on our famous beaches, relax in the sun, or check out our historic lighthouse... Shell Island Beach Club might be just right for you!

The east (lighthouse) end of Sanibel is a popular area with some of the best beach areas, not to mention some of the best shelling in the world!

If you get tired of the beach, Shell Island Beach Club has a large pool and spa, tennis and shuffleboard to keep you busy. On the shoreward side of the resort you have over 20 miles of walking and bike trails to enjoy.

Shell Island Beach Club currently has three listings ranging from from $710,000 to $900,000. There are only 12 condos at Shell Island, along with some timeshare units. This is a great place to enjoy your condo as well as rent it when you're not here. There is an on-site rental office as well as being a popular place for return guests.

If you want to see more of Shell Island Beach Club you can check out my website page, along with a fun virtual tour of the property and beach! I even have a full video tour of Sanibel's east end for you to check out!

We are entering our relaxing summer season and this is a good time to check out what's available in Sanibel Island Real Estate and Captiva Island Real Estate.

Prices are still low and mortgage rates are so low it's hard to believe! Give me a call at 239-691-4915 or contact me using my website contact form.

You can also put my mobile website in your mobile favorites so you can keep up with all the latest listings! Or you can email me your criteria for the property you are looking for and I can put you in our automatic email system. This alert system will automatically email you any new listings that fit your criteria! Condos, homes, land, Sanibel, Captiva or Fort Myers - I can help you!

 

Have a great day!
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 03 2012

 Sanibel Siesta

Sanibel Siesta is a gulf front condominium located on Fulgur Street on Sanibel. This 62 unit condo is just a short walk from the Beachview golf course. Sanibel Siesta is a full service condo with an on-site rental office, and all the best shopping and Sanibel restaurants aren't very far away!

 

There are over 20 miles of bike/walking trails that run right past the shoreward side of the complex. Sanibel Siesta also has two tennis courts to keep you in shape and a large pool so you can cool off!

A popular place for renters and vacationers, Sanibel Siesta is a great investment property to consider. The units are all two bedroom, two bath and none are more than a few steps to the miles and miles of famous Sanibel beach.
Sanibel Siesta condos sizes are from 1,300 to 1,400 sq. ft. and from April 2011 to April 2012, four condos have sold from $349,000 to $515,000. If Sanibel Siesta sounds like something that's just right for you, contact me and I will give you all the latest on what's available! You won't regret it!

For more information on this condo, as well as a great video of the property, tennis courts and beach, Click Here to visit my Sanibel Siesta condo page!

And as always, contact me with ANY of your questions concerning island property. The islands are still busy and interest in real estate seems pretty high, so don't wait! Give me a call today at 239-691-4915.

Sanibel Siesta Beach

You never know what you'll find!

Posted by: AT 08:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 24 2012
Sanibel Island Real Estate
 
Normally we judge the end of our tourist season by Easter, but that seems like it's not really the story these days. Sanibel and Captiva remain busy for quite a while longer, and then we switch to a "summer" tourist crowd who come here for the fantastic fishing along with all our fun summer events.

Since it's always interesting to see how our real estate market is doing, lets take a look at how we're doing compared to the same time period as last year.

This year from 1/1/2012 to 4/24/2012 we have had 65 home closings on Sanibel compared to 61 homes sold in the same time period last year. The average selling price this year is $806,262 and last year it was about the same at $805,225. Our listing price to selling price ratio for this year is 90% where last year it was 89%. It looks like we are neck and neck with our Sanibel home sales for the two years.

For Sanibel condo sales for the same period:
This year from 1/1/2012 to 4/24/2012 we have had 50 condo closings on Sanibel compared to 52 condos sold in the same time period last year. The average selling price this year is $621,734 and last year it was $695,197. Our listing price to selling price ratio for both years is exactly the same at 90%. These statistics show that condo sales are not quite as active as last year.

 

For a few more statistics, this year we currently have 233 homes listed on Sanibel along with 227 condos for sale. For the homes, prices range from $275,000 to $6,500,000. Condos range from $140,000 to $3,000,000.

Captiva Island currently has 51 homes listed and 57 condos. For the homes, prices range from $669,000 to $10,900,000. Condos range from $215,000 to $2,475,000.

This has been a fun and active season and I'd love to help you find just the right place! I have access to ALL the listings and since I'm an island resident, I can fill you in on everything you need to know abour our island paradise! You can call me at 239-691-4915 or use this Contact Form.

 
 

Thanks!
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 13 2012
 Pointe Santo de Sanibel
One of Sanibel's BEST condo developments!

Pointe Santo de Sanibel is a gulf front condo located at the end of Tarpon Bay Road. Offering weekly rentals, this complex is a favorite for families. The pool-side clubhouse always has activities to keep the kids entertained while the adults relax by the pool!

 

 

Build in the mid 70s, Pointe Santo de Sanibel has 141 units. The units face a large lake in the center of the resort or the Gulf of Mexico. The resort/condo has some of the best repeat rental business for weekly rentals.

 

Sanibel Island offers so much for visitors and locals and this condo adds to the list. Along with the clubhouse, there is a large pool, two tennis courts, miles and miles of Sanibel beach, and weekly rentals.

Currently there are 10 units available. One condo is a one bedroom, one bath for $497,900. Eight are two bedroom, two bath units from $599,900 to $885,000. There is one three bedroom, two bath, listed for $949,00.

All the listed units are fully furnished and ready to go! Pointe Santo de Sanibel is a fantastic place to spend your vacation, as well as have your unit for rent when you're not able to be there. The location is near Bailey's General Store, our movie theatre, and all the great shopping on Periwinkle Way.

 

If you want to explore our islands you can hop on over 20 miles of biking/walking trails right in front of the resort. If golf is your sport, Sanibel and Captiva have three semi-private championship golf courses to choose from.

If you just want to enjoy nature, over 60% of Sanibel Island is conservation preserve, the largest protected area being the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. The bird watching on Sanibel is as famous as the shelling on our beaches!

 

 

I have a great slideshow tour of Pointe Santo de Sanibel on my condo page (HERE) as well as a map of the property. Check it out and let me know what you think!

As always, I can answer all your Sanibel Real Estate questions, as well as any general questions you might have about life on these great islands! Just give me a call at 239-691-4915, or use this Contact Form, and I'll help in any way I can! Mortgage rates are incredibly low and prices are reasonable! This is the time to buy!

 

Thanks,
Sarah

Posted by: AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 06 2012
 Loggerhead Cay

Located at 979 East Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island, Loggerhead Cay is a great gulf front condo with easy access on and off the isand. This condo has a total of 168 units and is in the shape of a big "U."
 

Loggerhead Cay offers a large pool, tennis courts, shuffleboard, miles and miles of Sanibel beach, as well as many more amenities! Shelling, biking, shopping, fishing or just relaxing... this is the place for you!

There is always something fun to do on the Islands and Loggerhead is a great place for your home base!

 

Currently there are 14 units listed. All of them are two bedroom, two bath and the asking prices range from $450,000 to $725,000, depending on location to the Gulf and current upgrades to the unit.

Loggerhead is also a great investment property as it has always been popular in the rental market.

On my Loggerhead Cay condo page you can map and check out Loggerhead, as well as view a great new video of the complex! Click Here to check out the video! You can check out my Loggerhead listing Here!

 

As usual, you can give me a call at 239-691-4915 or use my contact page (here) for more information on Loggerhead Cay or any listing on Sanibel and Captiva Islands!

And I don't want to forget all the great listings available in Fort Myers! Click Here to check out my new listing!

 

 

Thanks
Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 02:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 15 2012

Seagull Estates

Lately I've been talking about all the different (and fabulous) condos and neighborhoods on Sanibel, and I have to mention one of my favorite! Seagull Estates is located on West Gulf Drive just to the east of Tarpon Bay Road. Seagull Estates is made up of two streets: Daniel Drive and Christofer Court.

 

 

The subdivision has beautiful landscaping and well-kept homes. Miles and miles of Sanibel beach is just across West Gulf Drive and the deeded beach access is easily accessible. Daniel Drive weaves through the neighborhood and has two entrances on West Gulf Drive.
One of the best features of this near-beach neighborhood is that it has its own clubhouse, pool and tennis courts for the residents' enjoyment! The clubhouse is large and it's the perfect place for gatherings and parties!

 

This is a highly desirable area and there have been three home sales so far this year. Both were three bedroom, three bath homes with selling prices from $549,000 to $720,000. As always you can contact me and I can fill you in on current properties for sale in this area.

 

 

I have a great video of this area and it's worth a look! Just go to my "Seagull Estates" webpage and check it out! If this area looks interesting to you, just let me know and I can put your email address in my "automatic search" system and you will be notified whenever a new listing hits the market!

I have also started a new program that I can offer Sanibel residents (For FREE of course!) where I will be sending out neighborhood updates. My updates will include current listings, recent sales and general information concerning the Sanibel Real Estate market with my views on current trends. If you are a resident, or just interested in a particular area, let me know and I will add your email to my list!

Thanks!

Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 14 2012
As if Sanibel Island didn't have enough going for it - a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon public school - the Sanibel School and Arthur Frommer's top destination designation - now the Sanibel Public Library has been recognized as being top of class.  The Library Journal named the Sanibel Public Library a 5-Star Library in its annual America's Star Libraries of 2011 survey!

This recognition is based upon stellar service and the importance to the community.  The Technological innovation is also a factor that plays into the equation.  The Sanibel Public Library has worked very diligently to upgrade the wireless internet access, enhanced access to library resources on-line and allowing the downloading of e-Books and audio books.  It is really quite impressive!

If you haven't made a stop at the library before - you owe yourself a visit.  For more information on the Sanibel Public Library visit The Sanibel Library site HERE.  Happy reading!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 08 2012

Chateaux Sur Mer

Located near the west end of Sanibel, Chateaux Sur Mer is a terrific near-beach subdivision where all the properties are just a short walk to the beach.
The deeded beach access allows all residents a fast and easy way to enjoy miles and miles of Sanibel's best beaches! This area is also perfect for sunset walks, or to get on your bike and enjoy over 20 miles of Sanibel bike trails!

 

 

Chateaux Sur Mer is made up of five streets: Rue Belle Mer, Rue Helene, Rue Bayou, Ruelle and Rue Royale. The subdivision is close to the Sanibel School, the Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary and Captiva Island.

 

 

Currently there are just a few properties available in this picturesque subdivision, and I can fill you in on all the details! There are two vacant properties listed at $496,000 and $579,000. There are three homes for sale ranging from $1,285,000 to $2,650,000.

Contact me for more information about these properties!

You can also check out my video of Chateaux Sur Mer and my near-beach vacant lot listing. The property measures 135' by 145' and will allow 30% - 35% coverage to build your beach get-away.

I can help you with the unique possibilities available to you concerning Sanibel construction.

I am also a "Green" designated Realtor. If you are interested in building an energy efficient home I can help! You can also check out my "Green" webpages for more information.

 

Be sure to check out my website search engine to find ALL the listings available. If you would like me to set up an automatic search for a property you would be interested in, just contact me with the criteria of your needs and you will be automatically sent any new listings that fit what you're looking for!

Sarah

 

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, February 26 2012

Sea Oats!

This week we should talk about Sea Oats subdivision on Sanibel. Sea Oats is just off of West Gulf Drive. I lived in Sea Oats for quite a few years and still own a Sea Oats vacant lot. The subdivision is just a short walk to the deeded beach access and has lots of appeal. Sea Oats is nature at its finest! Bordering conservation property, this is fabulous place to see our local wildlife and native vegetation. Ask me about the bobcat couple in my yard!

 

 

There are four roads in the Sea Oats Subdivision: Sea Oats Drive, Hideaway Court, Spartina Court, and Sea Walk Court. There are just over 50 homes in the subdivision along with a few undeveloped lots, so whether you want to build or buy an existing home, Sea Oats might be worth a look.

Currently there is only one home listed in Sea Oats (A testament to how much in demand the area is) for $399,900. The home is a two bedroom, two bath and overlooks the preserve property.

Click Here to see my Sea Oats web page and video tour!

 

If you would like to build your own dream home, lots are currently listed from $250,000 to $300,000! I can help you with choices of local builders and the special concerns of building a Sanibel home.

Neighborhood Map

 

 

So if you think Sea Oats could be for you, just give me a call or Contact Me and I can send you all the latest information about Sea Oats and its neighboring subdivisions!

Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 02:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 15 2012
Sanibel Arms West

 

This week I want to tell you about a fantastic gulf front condo. Sanibel Arms West is located at 822 East Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island. There are 104 total units in this condo.

Check out my video tour and listing page for Sanibel Arms West Here!

Sanibel Arms West has a pool, tennis courts, docks and miles and miles of Sanibel's best beach. Located on the east end of Sanibel Island, it's just a short walk to the Sanibel lighthouse.

 

 

There are currently eight units available ranging from $395,900 to $400,000. All the units are two bedroom, two bath with some facing the Gulf and some just steps from the beach. Map this Property Here!

Sanibel is over 60% conservation property and is considered a sanctuary island. There are also over 20 miles of biking/walking trails for your enjoyment! And Sanibel Arms West fits right in with our natural environment.

Give me a call or Contact Me for all the latest information and listing at Sanibel Arms.

Sarah

 

Posted by: AT 05:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 09 2012
Greetings! We've had another week of great weather and happy visitors! It's also been terrific for golf lovers, so this week let me tell you about one of our three golf course communities on Sanibel, Beachview Country Club Estates. 
 

Beachview is open to the public as a semi-private course. It's an 18 hole par 70 and no matter what level of player you are, this is one of the best places to play. The course runs along the Sanibel River where you can enjoy nature and the tropical landscaping along the way. As a member of the Audubon International's Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, Beachview realizes the value of protecting our local wildlife and vegetation.  
   Beachview Country Club is also a popular tennis spot. The five courts are "hydrogrid" to keep the clay in the best tennis condition. You can sit and relax on the deck overlooking the courts and watch, or grab your racket and play!

Beachview's clubhouse offers everything you'll need for tennis or golf, including a pro to help with your golf or tennis game. There is a restaurant, Beachview Steakhouse, on property so you can relax after a tough day on the links.


On top of just enjoying this great location, you can purchase a home right on, or near the course. There are currently 14 home listings in Beachview, priced from $549,000 to $2,000,000, and I'd love to show you around. A few of them are terrific deals and I know which ones!

 
If you want to build your own perfect home on a lot, I have a Beachview lot listed at $395,000 with expansive fairway views. (CLICK to see my listing) You can also watch a great video of Beachview on my listing page.  
  Beachview is a near-beach neighborhood and just a short stroll or bike to the miles and miles of Sanibel beach. You can tell I get excited about this area, it's got everything you need! I play tennis at Beachview enough to know everything there is to know about this special place!
   
   
So. give me a call! I know ALL the listings on Sanibel and Captiva and through the Multiple Listing Service I can find the perfect spot for you! Click Here to contact me!

Sarah

Posted by: AT 04:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 24 2012

Last year our local real estate market had some terrific gains! I don't think anyone will say our economy is fully recovered, but the stats for Sanibel home sales for last year (2011) show an increase of 30.7% over 2010!

In 2010 there were 124 Sanibel home sales, and in 2011 we had 179! Sanibel condos also showed some good news - in 2010 we had 120 condo sales and in 2011 there were 142.

This is great news for Buyers and Sellers. With sales increasing it just might mean we hit the lows and are now moving up again.

Another interesting fact is Sanibel's high end Gulf Front home sales. In 2009 there were just two Gulf front sales, in 2010 we had five sales, and in 2011 we had 14 Sanibel Gulf front sales! Check below for all the stats!

Sanibel Home Sales (monthly) for 2011

Sanibel Condo Sales (monthly) for 2011
 

Sold 2010 2011 Av. Selling Price Days On Market List to Sell %
Sanibel Homes 124 179 $826,130   347

89% 

Sanibel Condos 120 142  $591,861  304

90% 

Sanibel Lots 21 19 $336,905 473

86%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Captiva Homes

 10

 22

$1,782,059  

 349

 88%

Captiva Condos 

 8

 24

$737,754 

 480

 90%

 

I think it's easy to see that things are looking up! Our weather is beautiful (as usual), our beaches are fantastic (again, as usual) and we are ready to climb out of the bad economy of the last few years. So on that note, check out my four bedroom, four bath Captiva Gulf Front listing! This home is perfect for a getaway or a full time home. Renting is also an option as this house has a great rental history! CLICK HERE to check it out!
 
Sarah
 
 
Posted by: AT 03:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 09 2012
Wow - have we been busy on the islands.  The holidays were hopping with many visitors from the north and the Real Estate on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island was active.  It appears that the economy has turned around just enough for folks to be thinking about their warm weather home.

I have the perfect property if you are thinking of a home away from home on Sanibel Island!  I listed a 3 bedroom, 3 bath town home on Middle Gulf Drive.  All the space of a house with all the convenience of a condo - it is a 1/2 duplex in a 3 building, 5 unit home owners association development called Sea Pines.  This unit has been updated with impact glass windows - great picture windows overlooking the Sanibel River.  The community has a pool and is right across the street from the beach.  Let me know if you might be interested in this or other Sensational Island Properties!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 11:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 01 2011
If you are looking for something to do this weekend - don't fret - there is more than a mere mortal can take in!

Friday kicks off a long standing tradition on the islands - Luminary.  On Friday, Sanibel Island businesses will be keeping their doors open and the food and beverages flowing as Periwinkle Way is lit up with hundreds of white luminary candle bags.  It is a sight to behold.  The San-Cap Chamber of Commerce does an outstanding job working with the businesses and running a trolley service to get folks from one plaza to another. 

Friday will also host a fund-raiser on Captiva Island to support the month-long Captiva Holiday Village celebration and events.  Many great silent auction items will be there for the bidding.  Check out www.captivaholidayvillage.com for more info.

Satuday is Captiva Island's luminary night.  at 3:30 the festivities are kicking off with a Golf Cart Parade.  Don DeLuca of the Royal Shell Companies is the Grand Marshall of the parade.  It will be a good time and again - the streets will be lined with white luminary candle bags.  It is a pretty sight.

Have a great weekend!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 07:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 29 2011

2011 has been good for business in East and West Rocks - a near beach neighborhood on Sanibel Island off the dead-end section of West Gulf Drive, west of Rabbit Road.

To date in 2011 there have been 7 houses that have sold and an additional one under contract.  The sales prices have ranged from $520,000 for an older model, 3 bedroom, 2 bath pool home to $899,900 for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath pool home build in 1991. 

The low price of $520,000 is an increase over the low price in 2010 of a comparable home by 5%.  This increase reflects the active market we have seen in 2011 for properties on Sanibel Island.  With the increase in activity comes a decrease in the inventory - hence a bit of price pressure.

The Days on the Market ranged from 91 days (meaning it went under contract very quickly after coming on the market) to 762 days.  In the Real Estate market these days - 2 years to sell has not been uncommon.  We are seeing that properties that are priced well - taking into account the age, condition and past sales of comparable properties tremendously reduces the time on the market. 

Currently there are 4 Active listings in "The Rocks" ranging from $449,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath property to $799,000 for a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home.  Perhaps one of these should be yours!

To check out a couple of great videos of East Rocks and West Rocks... CLICK HERE!

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 10:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 03 2011

2011 is shaping up to be a much better year than 2010 with respect to Sanibel Island and Captiva Island real estate.

On Sanibel Island there have been a total of 271 houses, condos and lots sold thus far in 2011 versus 219 for the same time in 2010.  That is a 23% increase in total volume.  The prices of the sold units are up as well.  Houses, condos and lots on Sanibel Island have a low prices that are 0 - 15% higher than last year with many more properties over $1 million having been sold.

On Captiva Island there have been a total of 39 properties sold in 2011 versus 26 in 2010.  This is a 50% increase in volume.  Prices on the top end have increased while some of the smaller properties have sold at a great value.

What is clear is that there will continue to be pressure on Sanibel and Captiva prices to hold or go up in the coming months based upon a greatly reduced inventory from last year.  I have had several experiences this summer where my clients had properties sold prior to their being able to get an offer in.  Additionally, the number of properties available to view and choose from was greatly reduced.

We will see what Q4 will bring! 

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:30 pm   |  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
Saturday, June 11 2011

Hi all,

I haven't posted any Sanibel Island Real Estate Updates in a while because I have been soooo busy!  That is a very good thing and a great sign of the health of Sanibel Island real estate.

After a very busy "season"  - we had a good increase in the number of visitors to the island during the winter months, we are having a very busy real estate season.  The number of closed transactions thus far in 2011 is up 16.6% over the same  period last year.
 
 

In raw numbers we have had 176 closed sales thru June 10 of this year on Sanibel as compared to 151 last year.  The only down segment of the market is in Vacant Land - we are still seeing little interest in purchasing a lot to build on when the prices of the existing properties is so attractive.

About prices - we have also started to see more interest in the middle and upper market properties.  The lower priced properties are being bought up and buyers are being compelled to look at and purchase the higher priced properties.  The $1.5+ properties are starting to move.

About inventory - this time last year there were over 300 Sanibel Island homes for sale and over 300 Sanibel Island condos for sale.  At this time there are under 250 houses and under 240 Condos.  With reduced inventory there will be some pressure on slight price increases and more resistance on the part of sellers to negotiate.  It is still a buyers market but the tide may be turning a bit. 

Sarah

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 11 2011

                                  Word Is Getting Out!

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have some of the top beaches in the U.S. according to Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Beaches Awards!

Ranked #5 and #8 respectively, anyone who has ever been to Sanibel beaches and Captiva beaches know that the long expanses of relatively uncrowded beach on both islands is a jewel. 
  
 

Sanibel Island beaches are known for their shelling as well as their expansive nature.  Folks from all across the globe come here to collect shells and to just relax.  The lack of development close to the beach really is special.

Captiva Island beaches remind visitors of trips to exotic and far away places -yet it is right here in our own country. You really get the local flavor of our islands with a stay on Captiva.  It just doesn't get much better!

For the entire story -
CLICK HERE......  And come see us soon!

      

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 06:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, April 02 2011

Wow!  Here we are one quarter of the way through 2011.  Time really does fly when you are having fun!

We are having fun - certainly more fun than our friends up north this winter - My girlfriend in Massachusetts texted me yesterday to let me know she had 6 inches of snow and no power - ouch.  We have had the most outstanding weather this year in the 10 years I have lived here.  Absolutely without question - warm, sunny days and cool, windows open, sleeping nights - perfect...  But I digress....

On to Real Estate...March continued in a strong fashion.  2010 to 2011 we are just about the same in closings in the March vs. March comparison.

                                        2010                 2011
Sanibel Houses                   16                    21
Sanibel Condos                  16                    12
Sanibel Vacant Land            2                      2 
                                                                                                                               

           
Comparing the total Q1 2010 closings to Q1 2011 closings we are 70 to 90 or 28% ahead of last year.    That sounds pretty impressive to me.  We also have 46 Houses and Condos under contract right now. 

Prices?  Well it is still a bit all over the map.  We are seeing more transactions in the $1 million plus range than we did all of 2010.  And we are seeing the $500 thousand to $1 million with more strength than last year.  The bargain hunters are still out there and are still finding some deals though not as easily.  The folks who need to sell are negotiating and those who do not, aren't.

What is "hot" in Sanibel Real Estate?:  Sundial 2 bedroom condos.  5 have closed this quarter and the prices have come down to a great value for these larger, gulf front, gulf view units with rental potential.  Pointe Santo de Sanibel came in 2nd with 3 closings in Q1 - 2011.  Again - good values with rental potential.

Sanibel Real Estate and Captiva Real Estate is looking better than ever! Check out my listings!  or Check out ALL the listing!

Contact me to find out more or to schedule a time to take a look for yourself!

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 28 2011

We are 2 months through 2011 and it's time to check in on how Sanibel Island real estate is shaping up.  I can confirm - things are getting better - inventory is moving and people are buying!

Last February there were 18 Sanibel Island real estate sales.  In February 2011 there have been 25.  That's almost a 40% increase.  The breakdown goes as follows:

                                          2010                     2011
Sanibel Houses                   9                           13
Sanibel Condos                   7                           11
Sanibel Vacant Land           2                             1

This brings our total houses sold in 2011 to 24 and our total number of Condos to 22.  Things are definitely improving.  Particularly when you see that there are 49 Pending sales on Sanibel as well.

Are there any "Hot" neighborhoods?  The answer is a resounding yes!  Of the 24 houses sold on Sanibel thus far in 2011, 9 of them were located in the Dunes!   For more about The Dunes, Click the photo or Click Here!

Contact me if you would like more detail on these numbers or would like to check out Sanibel Real Estate!

  

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 04:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 10 2011
Last night I attended a talk sponsored by the Bayous Preservation Association on the current status of Blind Pass.  The guest speaker was from the Lee County Department of Natural Resources, Engineer - Robert Neal. As background - Blind Pass, which had been closed for 5+ years was re-opened  and improved the water flow between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound and also improved the flushing of Dinkins and Clam Bayous so much so that the birds and fish have returned in abundance.. 

The good news from last night is that they are monitoring the situation.  The bad news is that it seems as though, until the Pass is actually closed, they will not take any action to re-dredge.  April is the decision month and that seems very far away when on a daily basis the opening appears smaller and more shallow.  At question seems to be the definition of "open".  Mr. Neal kept repeating the idea that the pass needed to be "open" and that didn't mean for navigational purposes but for water flow.  He presented several charts with water flow rates, both projected and actual and it appeared, from my naive perspective, that the estimates were way off.  This raised the question from the audience about who had made the projections and perhaps they needed different folks to do it because the ones who did weren't very good at their job.  Perhaps true.

My other side tells me that people have been messing around with Mother Nature for a long time and the past history shows that she will do what she wants, when she wants and how she wants regardless of what the humans want.  I came away last night feeling that the government agencies were trying to do the best job they could however it wasn't with any type of pro-active intent.  They continue to react and as a result, should Blind Pass close, it won't be until September or October of this year that we will get the dredge back to re-open it.  Additionally, the permit only allows them to re-dredge the approved area from before, even though it is evident at this time that a different channel is what Mother wants.

Only time will tell how this story ends.......
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 06:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 07 2011
Hi all you Sanibel Island lovers!

It is the first week of February and the islands are hopping!  Likely due to the rough weather up north (I had to arrange to have 4 feet of snow removed from my folks home in Connecticut so I get it!) there are a lot of visitors here and many Sanibel Real Estate and Captiva Real Estate inquiries - yeah!

This activity prompted me to take a look at the number of Sanibel real estate closings last January and the number of closings this January.  Lo and behold, there were 18 in 2010 and 22 in 2011.  Given January typically isn't our month with the greatest number of closed sales, can we make the jump to believe that this year may have more closings than last?  I think we can.  If we get an additional 4 closings per month for the year, or 48 additional closings - we are on track to resume our more typical absorption rate of available Sanibel Island real estate inventory.  This is good news for sellers and is even more motivation for buyers to get on it!    If Sanibel Island has always been your dream - let me help you realize it while the prices are still low and the interest rates in your favor. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 01:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 22 2011

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Real Estate

A Year in Review

Here is brief look back at the Real Estate on Sanibel and Captiva Islands through 2010

A total of 303 properties were sold on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in 2010.  This is a 7.8% increase in the total sold in 2009.  Sanibel saw the most activity in 2010 with 265 properties sold making a 10.4% increase in total sold from 2009.  There were 124 Houses, 120 Condos and 21 Lots sold.  The real story is the increase in Condo sales.  In 2009 there were only 86 units sold on Sanibel and in 2010 there were 120.  Condos are back!

Captiva continued its slide with only 38 houses, condos and lots sold with Condo sales increasing from 22 in 2009 to 26 in 2010.  More evidence that Condos are back.

Prices pulled back in all segments on both islands during the first part of 2009.  They seemed to stabilize toward the end of the year.  The values are very good!

Property Sold on Sanibel Island in 2010

Homes:  124 with prices from $190,000 to $3,275,000

Condos:  120 with prices from $160,000 to $2087,500

Lots:  21 with prices from $115,000 to $1,295,000

Property Sold on Captiva Island in 2010

Homes:  10 with prices from $995,000 to $7,000,000

Condos:  26 with prices from $235,000 to $1,300,000

Lots:  2 with prices of $2,800,000 and $2,900,000

For more detail or any questions – contact me!

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 05 2010
This information was published by the Captiva Erosion Control District as to the State of Florida's response to the Oil Spill on-going in the Gulf of Mexico.  We can all agree that this is a tragedy in the making and the response of our Federal, State, County and City officials is key as is the volunteer response. Sanibel and Captiva are not in the state of emergency areas yet (Lee County). I will keep you posted on any updates to our local information. 

 

 

CEPD Logo

Issues affecting our treasured coastlines

 

 

 Beach Briefs - May 4, 2010

"MAGNITUDE OF SPILL IS DAUNTING"

 

 

 

That's how Florida's top environmental official, Mike Sole, characterized the task both to stop the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon and to clean up its disastrous results.  As of May 3, 2010, Governor Charlie Crist has declared state of emergencies in the flowing counties:  Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota

 

What is the State of Florida Doing?

The State Emergency Response Team, in support of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as the lead response agency for the state of Florida, is actively monitoring the Deepwater Horizon response.

·         DEP has conducted water and sediment sampling to use as a baseline for ongoing monitoring.

·         DEP is continuously monitoring air quality data. The current air quality is considered to be good statewide. The public is encouraged to monitor this data at http://www.airnow.gov/ or http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/.

·         DEP, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), county governments, water management districts and several federal agencies continue to conduct pre-impact assessments, including sampling of water, fish, shellfish and habitats along the Florida coastline and into the Gulf of Mexico. 

·         Statewide monitoring is ongoing in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Panhandle-specific data is expected to be completed early this week. To view Florida's air quality data, visit http://www.airnow.gov/ or http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/.

·         The State Emergency Response Team has representatives at the Unified Command at the U.S. Coast Guard's Sector Mobile, helping to coordinate the efforts to protect Florida's shoreline.

·         Emergency Support Function 15, Volunteers and Donations, successfully spearheaded pre-impact beach cleanups over the weekend of May 1-2.  More than 1,200 volunteers participated in cleanups in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Wakulla counties to minimize the effect of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Volunteer Florida offers guidance for conducting safe pre-impact beach cleanups at www.volunteerflorida.org.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

 The Governor's Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is encouraging residents along the Florida Panhandle to participate in local beach cleanup events this weekend. For information on scheduled beach cleanups and other volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit www.VolunteerFlorida.org.  Or, to request volunteer information call (866) 448-5816.

 

BP has established a volunteer program and set up a toll-free number for those interested in volunteering.  When calling, interested parties should communicate what activities they are volunteering and locations in which they are available to work.  In addition, potential volunteers may call this line to learn about the training that is required to work in oil spill clean-up operations. For information on assisting with the response efforts, contact BP's community information line at (866) 448-5816.

 

Important Phone Numbers

·         Today, the Florida Emergency Information Line was activated in response to Deepwater Horizon accident. The hotline, which provides Floridians information regarding the Deepwater Horizon response, will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until further notice. The number for residents to call is: (800) 342-3557

·         Environment/community hotline: to report oil on the beach or shoreline or other environment or community impacts and access the Rapid Response Team - (866) 448-5816.

·         Wildlife: to report and access care for impacted, i.e., oiled, wildlife (866) 557-1401.

·         Volunteers: to request volunteer information (866) 448-5816.

·          Services: to register as consultant, contractor, vendor, or submit information on alternative response technology, services, products or suggestions (281) 366-5511

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District is comprised of 5 elected, upaid Commissioners dedicated to preserving and maintaining Captiva's beaches and shorelines. For more information on CEPD, visit our website or join our emailing list at: mycepd@gmail.com

(239) 472-2472.

 
 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 01:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 30 2010
Things have been busy.

For as slow as March was, April has more than made up for it.  Actually, for the first 4 months of 2010, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have been busy.  Sanibel Island has seen the inventory go down and the number of houses and condos sold and under contract go up!  The prices, while still low, are holding a bit more than before.  We have not started to see price increases and the number of price reductions has slowed.  Below is a chart of the 2010 activity on both Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.

  Activity - January - April 2010
     
  Sanibel Island Captiva Island
Houses    
Active Listings 268 92
Under Contract 32 1
Closed 48 4
     
Condos    
Active Listings 241 71
Under Contract 34 5
Closed 42 8
     
Vacant Land    
Active Listings 119 15
Under Contract 2 1
Closed 8 1


Contact me if you would like additional information about what is going on in Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Real Estate.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 01 2010
My clients who are interested in Sanibel Island Houses for sale (vs. Sanibel Island Condos for sale) have asked me about the trend in prices and number of sales over the past 10 years.  The findings are quite interesting.

As you can see from the statistics below - the average price rose right through 2006, however the number of homes sold actually started to decline in that year.  Prices have continued to pull back and we are heading back to 2003-2004 levels. 

In 2010 so far we are seeing a pace that matches or exceeds (we have 20+ houses under contract) last year's volume however the prices are lower.  The upper end of the market is very weak and what is currently selling is our $500K - $800K properties.  We expect that this will continue through 2010 and that recovery in the upper price range won't be seen until 2011 - but we'll see.  If you would like more information about Sanibel Island real estate and Captiva Island real estate sales trends - drop me an email or call me.


Sanibel House Sales 2000 - 2010
     
Year # Sold Average Price
2000 264 $650,869.00
2001 191 $640,868.00
2002 249 $695,048.00
2003 238 $698,622.00
2004 269 $851,418.00
2005 266 $1,017,864.00
2006 156 $1,143,682.00
2007 135 $1,056,178.00
2008 146 $957,663.00
2009 138 $770,315.00
2010* 28 $726,541.00
     
*  Represents sales through 3/25/10
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 01:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 19 2010

Last week I attended Lee County Days in Tallahassee as part of the Sanibel – Captiva Chamber of Commerce delegation.  These are days set aside so that community leaders and interested citizens from Lee County can meet with elected officials and heads of different state government departments.   

 

A couple of things I learned were:  1.  Lee County leads the state in Waste to Energy.  Almost all of our trash is converted, cleanly, to electricity.  Covanta Energy – a nationwide company – has a plant in Lee County and generates enough electricity to power 29,000 homes. Pretty neat!

www.covantaenergy.com

 

 2.  Lee County has a major initiative to create an Innovation Hub – not far from the airport.  The intention here is to attract green businesses into a campus setting – think Research Triangle in North Carolina.  This initiative is in conjunction with FGCU and the R&D will focus on renewable energy research.  Again – pretty neat.

www.fgcuinnovationhub.com

 

Both these initiatives have the potential to really diversify the economy of Lee County as well as to bring more middle and upper income individuals to the area.  This can only be good for home values! 

 

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 07:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 05 2010
Yes, there are short sale properties available on Sanibel Island.

There are currently 10 houses and 4 Condos that are Short Sales being actively marketed on Sanibel Island at this time.  There may be more however these are the active one.  There is one multi-family house and 9 single family houses ranging from $350,000 to $3,295,000. 

There are 4 - short sale condos that are being actively marketed, all two bedroom, two bath units ranging from $219,000 to $744,900. 

If you have been waiting for "a deal" on Sanibel Island, now may be your time to buy!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 01:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 02 2010
Want a Sanibel Island Cottage for only $209,000?

I have just listed a classic, two bedroom, one bath cottage, down a dirt lane on the quiet west end of Sanibel Island - near Dinkins Bayou.  This gem features an open floor plan, a screened porch, newer roof and appliances.  It is only a short stroll to the neighborhood boat launch!  A great get-away or condo alternative. Sanibel Island Real Estate at a great deal!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 01:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 23 2010

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist’s 2010 projections

 

Trying to predict how the Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Real Estate market will go in 2010 is not an easy task.  The truth is that we have been seeing an increase in actual units under contract and the numbers of people who are making inquiries to me is about double of what it was last year at this time. 

This being said, translating inquiries into people actually looking at properties to then making offers is not an exact science either.  What I can report is that the NAR Chief Economist is predicting some improvements.  He reports that existing home sales in 2009 rose to an estimated 5 million units – a 2% increase over 2008.  For 2010, the forecast is for 5.7 million units or a 13.6% increase.

 

Additionally, because of the difficulty in obtaining jumbo financing, there was limited activity in the upper-end housing market.  NAR forecasts improvement in 2010 in this end of the market as banks continue to ease their lending.

 

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 05:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 22 2010

Sanibel and Captiva Islands Remodeling:  Cost vs Value

 

Are you thinking of making some improvements to your Sanibel Island or Captiva Island home in 2010?  You might be interested to know that replacing your Front Door leads the way when it comes to return on investment.  Replacing your entry door with a high efficiency door will cost roughly $1100 to purchase and have installed.  The National Association of Realtor’s 2009 – 2010 report on Cost vs Value reports that the recouped value of that project will be about $1,470 or 129.9% of the cost! (Realtor Magazine, January 2010, pg. 22) 

 

Not only does it speak volumes about the value of Curb Appeal, it also can save you $$ with a more energy efficient door.

 

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 15 2010

Sanibel and Captiva Islands Real Estate in 2010

 

2009  saw the available inventory drop which bodes well for the prices holding steady.  At the end of 2008 we had over 300 homes and 300 Condos for sale on Sanibel Island alone.  This year the inventory is as follows:

 

Current Inventory on Sanibel Island January 1, 2010:

 

Homes – 263 priced $239,000 to $13,500,000

Condos – 262 priced $194,000 to $3,365,000

Lots – 115 priced $195,000 to $5,250,000

 

Current Inventory on Captiva Island January 1, 2010:

 

Homes – 78 priced $879.000 to $18,000,000

Condos – 73 priced $280,000 to $3,875,000

Lots – 12 priced $775,000 to $8,500,000


From 1/1/2010 thru 1/15/2010 there have been 8 properties that have closed on Sanibel and there are 34 properties under contract on both islands.  If you would like more information about the current state of Island real estate, email me.

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 08 2010
Wow!  Has it really been a month since I last posted a blog entry???!!

Well, let's start with a brief look back on the Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Real Estate activity in 2009.

A total of 281 properties sold on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in 2009.  Sanibel saw the most activity with 143 Homes, 86 Condos and 11 Lots sold.  Captiva continued it’s sluggish pace from 2008 with 16 Homes, 22 Condos and 3 Lots changing hands.

 

Prices continued to pull back in all segments on both islands in keeping with the economy in general.  The good news is that the prices of homes and condos appear to have found a floor. 

 

Property Sold On Sanibel Island in 2009:

Homes: Prices ranged from a low of $285,000 to a high of $3,900,000

Condos: Prices ranged from a low of $175,000 to a high of $3,200,000

Lots: Prices ranged from a low of $175,000 to a high of $750,000

 

Property Sold On Captiva Island in 2009:

Homes: Prices ranged from a low of $800,000 to a high of $7,250,000

Condos: Prices ranged from a low of $246,000 to a high of $2,175,000

Lots: Prices ranged from a low of $1,325,000 to a high of $2,900,000

If you would like more detail on these statistics, let me know.  In my next post, I will take a look at 2010!

'til then,  Sarah
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 20 2009
I have just posted a great video on my website featuring the Chateaux Sur Mer neighborhood of Sanibel Island!  Click Here to find out more about the property and to watch the video of the Chateaux Sur Mer area and the available lot.

As I mentioned in my last blog - I just listed a wonderful lot in this neighborhood.  The lot is just steps from the deeded beach access.  Miles and miles of Sanibel beach awaits!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 14 2009
Hi - I just listed a great Sanibel Island lot for sale.  It is in the Chateaux Sur Mer subdivision and is really close to the Gulf of Mexico.  Best of all - it is just steps away from the deeded beach access to an absolutely gorgeous beach.  Check it out by clicking Here!

This cleared, level lot is roughly 1/2 acre and can support a good size house and pool.  If you have a dream about building your dream home on Sanibel Island, this is definitely worth checking out. And if you are thinking about building - don't forget to check out the"Build Green" section of my website. Sanibel real estate has never looked better!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, October 18 2009
Hi -

Ever wonder what Sanibel Island was like after hearing so much about it?

Well, I have talked to so many folks who have never been here and wondered "What is it like there?"  that I decided to try to answer their questions in video as well as words. 

On my website - www.sanibelislandsensations.com you can now click on the link on the homepage to the first of my Island videos.  I started on the East end of Sanibel Island. The two videos bring you across the Causeway and show you the Sanibel Marina, the Sanibel Island Fishing Pier, the Sanibel Island Lighthouse and, of course, some of the great Real Estate on that end of the island.  I take you around and show you Sanibel Island Canal Homes and Gulf Front Condo complexes as well as "the island within the island" - Kinzie Island on Sanibel Island.  Take a look at these two fun videos and let me know what you think.  Over the next couple of months I will be adding to the video collection so you will get a sense of Sanibel Island and then it's on to Captiva Island.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 12:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 03 2009
Wow - it has been a while since my last Blog entry - I have been really busy settling into Royal Shell Preferred Properties.  Moving is a good deal of work when you want to ensure that your clients don't miss a beat when it comes to Sanibel Island real estate and Captiva Island real estate! Click Here to read more about my exciting new company.

On Thursday I was taking a little break and went on this fantastic bike ride through Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  It was the first day of October and a cool front had passed through the day before so it was dry and glorious here on Sanibel Island. 

The birds seemed to think life was pretty good on Sanibel as well.  There were a dozen Roseate Spoonbills, about 40 Great White Herons, and too-many-to-count Snowy Egrets.  The best part was that they were in the trees, wading in the water and flying all around - it looked like they were having a party! 

Sanibel Island is a truly special place.  To really enjoy it, you need to take the time to see it and experience it.  I feel so fortunate that I live in such a wonderful place.
Sanibel Island Real Estate
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 10:04 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
Tuesday, August 25 2009
Greetings,

There are some interesting statistics about Lee County Florida real estate activity.  The number of closed house sales, year-to-date, through 8/17/09 is 50% higher than the same period in 2008.  There have been over 10,000 properties sold in Lee County thus far this year!  Only 25% of these were traditional sales with over half being foreclosures and the rest being short sales

The number of closed condo sales in Lee County thus far in 2009 has also jumped 33% over 2008.  That brings it to close to 2500 condos sold so far in 2009!  Just about 1/3rd of these were foreclosed properties. 

It is great that these foreclosed and short sale properties are moving off the market.  The sooner this happens, the sooner the market will start returning to some sort of normalcy.

On Sanibel Island we have not seen the same type of activity.  There are many fewer properties in general and many fewer foreclosed properties.  We have actually seen a 21% decline in house sales and a 20% decline in condo sales in 2009 vs. 2008.  Because the great deals are not there, we have not had the activity that Ft. Myers, Lehigh and Cape Coral have seen.  Sanibel prices too, while they have pulled back, we haven't seen the severe drop in prices that other parts of Lee county have experienced.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 10:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 24 2009
Check out my new page on the www.sanibelislandsensations.com website that features the Loggerhead Cay Condo community.  http://www.sanibelislandsensations.com/loggerhead_cay1    Over time we will post additional information and add pages featuring additional condos.  Let me know what other information you would like to see. 

Sanibel Island real estate is still active and condos on Sanibel Island are at some very attractive prices.  Is it time for you to get your piece of paradise?
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 08:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 13 2009
The first quarter of 2009 was slow for Sanibel Island Real Estate Sales.  A total of 34 homes and condos sold during this time on Sanibel Island.  Otherwise known as not that many!

The second quarter of 2009 saw dramatic rise in sales as a total of 75 homes and condos were sold on Sanibel Island.  Home sales continue to show strength in the first 1/2 of the 3rd quarter.  If they stay on track, will match Q2's volume.  Interest in condos appears to be declining for now.  Some of this is likely due to the continued difficulty in financing condos.  Many lenders are reluctant to finance investment condos or they require a larger deposit.


 
Sanibel Island House and Condo Sales 2009
  Homes Condos
Q1
21 13
Q2
45 30
July - 8/12 24 14
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, August 01 2009
While people plan, God laughs!

Blind Pass was not scheduled to be opened for another week.  However, Mother Nature took matters into her own hand on Friday and opened it herself.  While the dredging and debris removal is not complete, there is water flowing from the Gulf to the Bay for the first time in years.  May the pass remain open for a very long time! This YouTube video was shot by the first boat through.  Note:  They don't want boat traffic yet as they aren't done removing old bridge pilings, however this powered canoe owner (video below)  just couldn't help themselves!


Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 23 2009
The Sanibel Bayous Preserve issued this update concerning the opening of Blind Pass. 

  • The Construction may conclude as early as Wednesday, July 29th pending weather. Current forecasts are favorable through Thursday but do not look good for Friday and Saturday.
  • The opening of Blind Pass, or removal of the last sheetpile wall, could occur as early as August 1. The opening will not occur prior to completion of the dredging in the Gulf or prior to marking the Pole & Troll zone in Wulfert Flats.
  • Lee County is considering authorizing additional dredging in the Gulf after the pass is ‘opened’ to extend the dredging as long as October. The additional work stems from infilling expected to occur immediately after the sheetpile wall is removed.
  • The Contractor is expected to continue working 24 hours per day until the initial work is completed in the Gulf.
  • Lee County will be removing up to 20 of the old bridge timber pilings that were found in the channel prior to removal of the sheetpile wall. The total number of pilings still in place from the old bridge is not known.
This is very exciting news for all the bayous home owners.  The water quality, which is very good right now, will get even better!.  Sanibel Island real Estate on the north end should see a boost in values as the water is even better and there will now be a shorter trip to access the Gulf of Mexico. Check out the photo below of Blind Pass from an offshore prospective. You can see the large cranes at work.

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 04:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 16 2009
Wow!  If it isn't tough enough these days to bring a buyer and seller of a great piece of Sanibel Island Real Estate together, the appraisal process these days isn't helping.  As many know, the rules were changed a couple of months back prohibiting any possible interference in the appraisal process by Mortgage Banks and Realtors.  The feeling was that part of the cause of our housing meltdown throughout the country was overly inflated appraisals that then allowed the banks to lend more money on a property than it was actually worth.  The resulting rules have brought the Real Estate market, across the country, to a virtual standstill.

Here on Sanibel Island we have had numerous "appraisal incidents" that have grossly under valued properties, the most agregious being when a direct access canal home was compared (or comped) to a lake front inland property.  This lack of understanding of the local real estate market has created a big headache for buyers, sellers, bankers and Realtors.  Take a look at this USA Today article for a full accounting of the issues and the move to correct the situation. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 16 2009
Sanibel Island is known for sun, shells, lots of conservation property, bobcats and alligators.  A group of interested citizens are now working to make it known for something else - being leaders in the uses of renewable resources. 

I am chairing Sanibel Alliance for Renewable Resources (S.A.R.R.) and hoping that as many Sanibel residents and interested parties will join us as possible.  This make sense not only for the environment but also for the value of our property and the island.  It is totally in keeping with what makes the island special. 

The first initiative of the group is to educate and encourage the use of Solar Hot Water heating systems.  We feel that with all the sun energy available for free - this makes sense for the island.  Providers of these systems, including Advance Solar - are working with us to make this as affordable as possible, likely under $2,000 per system!  There are State grants and Federal Tax Credits available at this time to help the equation.  If you would like more information about the Alliance or would like to join us, please visit www.sanibelenergy.com.   To see our press release see Page 5 of the Island Sun
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 12:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 07 2009
Sanibel Island's Lighthouse Beach has been selected as the top Family beach on the Gulf Coast by Men's Journal.  In their recent edition, Men's Journal ranked the 20 best beaches in America by location and best amenities.  They also categorized the beaches and Sanibel Island got the number one ranking in the Family Beach category. 

Anyone who has ever wanted a beach vacation knows that what makes a great beach is the sand, the water and the density.  Well, Sanibel Island is top of class in all of these.  This is also what makes Sanibel Island Real Estate a solid performer over the long haul.  There isn't anymore beach being made so the fact that Sanibel Island has such long stretches of uninterrupted beach makes it special. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 05 2009

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are marking the days until Blind Pass is officially opened.  The current schedule is for the pass to be open July 25!.  On September 25th there will be a ribbon cutting to mark this historic event.  Be sure to mark your calendar!

 

 

                        Opening of Blind Pass Draws Near
        Blind Pass Restoration project engineers and contractors are hoping for calm weather and seas as they complete interior dredging of the pass and move dredge "Nate" into the Gulf of Mexico. Only one of the original four sheet pile walls remains in place parallel to the gulf coast. Dredging near the gulf is normally more difficult than interior dredging due to the coarser sand. But gulf waves make it impossible to use the small dredge. To take advantage of days when weather cooperates, work may continue throughout the evenings.
 
        Completion of the project is expected in July. (Fingers crossed.)  Please join Lee County, the City of Sanibel and the CEPD for a commemorative ribbon cutting on Friday, September 25 at 10:00am.  Preparations for a special Captiva celebration are underway.  As we reunite for the season we will hold a grand family event including a small boat flotilla, food and fun.  Get your boats ready!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 06:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 25 2009
Hi,

On Tuesday night I moderated a meeting of interested Sanibel citizens about installing Solar Hot water heating systems on Sanibel homes, condos and commercial buildings.  At this time there are a number of State and Federal incentives to assist with the payment of these systems.  The State of Florida is offering a $500 rebate and the Federal Government is offering a 30% tax credit (not deduction) toward the expense of installing such a system. 

Aaron Fields of Advance Solar in Ft. Myers presented a proposal that would install these systems for under $2000 after all the rebates and tax credits.  The payback period for the investment is 2 to 4 years depending on your water use.  After that, the hot water is free of energy expense!  The intention of this initiative is to get as many buildings on Sanibel Island using the energy of the sun to heat their hot water.

Sanibel Island is the perfect place!  From a personal perspective, I have a solar hot water system on my pool and it is great.  Aaron will be visiting my home very soon to see if Solar Hot Water is in my future!  If you call Aaron, reference the Sanibel Solar Initiative for all the details.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 20 2009
It is definately Summer on Sanibel Island!  The temperatures are climbing and the buzz is all about July 4th.  As many know - Sanibel Island hosts a real July 4th Parade filled with great floats and the streets lined with kids picking up candy thrown from the floats.  It is a real treat and something quite unique.  The entire community comes out.  This year's theme of the parade is "Going Green"  It will be very interesting to see what the parade entrants come up with. 

What is new is that after the parade, in Bailey's Plaza, they are hosting "Bailey's Backyard Bar-B-Q" from 10 - 2 on Saturday the 4th.  This I am sure will prove to be a real hoot!.  There will be lots of fun for everyone and the food and beverage will be outstanding.  So - if you are in the area and looking for something to do - come see the parade and stop by Baileys. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 15 2009
Please excuse the long Blog message however this is important and timely!  The economic impact of not ensuring clean water here is huge!  Read on and see what you can do.  Thanks,  Sarah


Newsletter - Bayous Preservation Association - June 14, 2009
 
WE NEED YOUR HELP BEFORE WEDNESDAY!
 
The BPA, working with the SCCF, is doing water quality monitoring at the four sites on Sanibel and Captiva where we have been testing for two years prior to the opening of Blind Pass. We will continue and are funded for water quality testing in the same four sites for a full year following the opening of the pass.
 
HOWEVER--the Lee County Tourist Development Council's Beach and Shoreline Fund, which has previously funded similar water quality monitoring on Captiva, at the Sanibel Caloosahatchee Water Quality Observatory and Sanibel Water Quality Monitoring--San Carlos Bay, has asked the Lee County Commission to pick up the tab this year.
 
In view of of the many increasing threats to the quality of our surrounding waters--due to factors such as runoff, fertilizers, algae, and bacterial pollutants--the support of all concerned BPA members is needed to encourage the Lee County Board of County Commissioners to fully fund in FY 2009-2010 these three important water quality projects.
 
The issue  of funding will be discussed at a budget workshop on Wednesday, June 17 (no public input planned), and the commissioners need to hear from us.
 
WE'VE ALREADY PAID THE TAXES FOR THIS, SO ENCOURAGE THE COMMISSIONERS TO SPEND IT FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR WATERS.
 
If you support the continuation of water quality monitoring on the islands, PLEASE SEND AN E-MAIL to the commissioners before Wednesday morning. Their e-mail addresses are listed below, as are some bullet points you can use to craft your individual message in support of this effort. Your email can be simple and to the point.
 
We in the BPA are lucky that, thanks to generous grants, donations, and memberships, we are able to continue our water quality monitoring program. Let's help these other areas, which are as critical to the water quality of the Blind Pass ecosystem as the opening of the pass, to get the funding they need.
 
We thank you in advance!
 
The Crew at BPA
 
SEND your emails to TO:
 
Commissioner Bob Janes, District 1 -- dist1@leegov.com
Commissioner Brian Bigelow, District 2 -- dist2@leegov.com
Commissioner Ray Judah, District 3 -- dist3@leegov.com
Commissioner Tammy Hall, District 4 -- dist4@leegov.com
Commissioner Frank Mann, District 5 -- dist5@leegov.com
 
MESSAGE POINTS:
 
I urge you to support full county funding in FY 2009-2010 for three important water quality projects previously funded by the Tourist Development Council:
1.       Captiva Water Quality Monitoring, Year 2 at $99,294.
2.       Sanibel Caloosahatchee Water Quality Observatory at $67,689.
3.       Sanibel Water Quality Monitoring -- San Carlos Bay at $30,000.
 
  • Water quality is an essential issue for Lee County, for both environmental and economic reasons. Healthy water is the basis for a healthy environment, a crucial building block to maintain ecological balance in the face of competing pressures and pollution sources.
  • The value of healthy water and beaches for the county's economy cannot be overstated: to bring visitors here to enjoy our coastlines and waterways, to keep residents drawn here by the many water-based resources available to them and to support the industries that rely on healthy water.
  • In a county that promotes its miles of white sandy beaches, its kayak trails, its abundant water-based recreational options and its commitment to preserve a fragile environment that has drawn people to this area for decades, protecting water quality is paramount.
  • In a county that brings in millions of dollars thanks to its environmental assets, spending thousands of dollars to ensure its waters stay healthy and its beaches stay open is a prudent investment for the future.
  • Water quality requires a more stable funding source to ensure this vital effort is adequately supported in years to come.
  • We understand financial times are tough and dollars are tight, but this is simply too important and timely an issue to wait until it's convenient. By then, it could be too late.
 
Be sure to include your name and Lee County address in your email.


--
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 11 2009
Hi,

There is a move afoot by the Lee County Commissioners and Lee County Department of Transportation to raise the tolls on the Sanibel Island Causeway.  To the casual visitor or day tripper, the proposal is for the toll to remain the same $6.00.  The increase comes to those residents and employees on the island who use the transponder discount program.  The proposal is to raise these rates to $3.00 per trip.  This is going to place a huge burden on all our island businesses, not to mention all the residents who have kids in school off island, residents with doctors off island or any other errands that occur off island.  Check out The News-Press article from today's paper for more detail on this issue.    http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009906110321
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009
Hi - I would like to introduce you to a new section of my website  - SanibelGreen.  Having just received my National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designation, I wanted to share some of the extremely useful resources that were shared with me.  What the site pages attempt to do is to be a source for the resources. 

Most of Sanibel and Captiva Island homes and condos were built before any discussion of Green.  That does not, by any means mean that they don't possess elements that conserve electricity and water - key elements of being Green.  It also doesn't mean that there couldn't be cost effective modifications to the property that would make it less expensive to operate and be beneficial to the enviromnent.

I am by no means an expert on Green Building, I am however more aware of what makes a property more friendly to the environment and usually, less expensive to operate.  I will be using this blog space and my other ways of reaching out to my colleagues and clients to bring greater awareness of things we can all do to conserve our resources. 

If you while visiting the site have suggestions for additional resources, let me know.  Over time, I will be adding sections and new links to bring even more helpful information on making your house or condo more Green!  In the mean time - click on the Sanibel Green button on my home page or go directly to www.SanibelGreen.com!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 27 2009
The news through May of 2009 about real estate sales on Sanibel is mixed.

We are looking somewhat similar to last year in number of sales.  This year so far, 48 homes have closed which averages roughly 10 per month or 120 for the year.  In 2008, 146 house were sold so we are down in the house category.  In the Condo category, thus far 48 condos have closed which averages roughly 10 or 120 for the year.  In 2008, 95 condos sold so we are up in the Condo sales category.  We have 30 homes and 24 condos that are under contract to close so things are definitely moving.   We also have many people here looking so my belief is that things will continue to be busy for the next 6 weeks or so. 

What is also true however, and good news for buyers, is that the average sales price of both homes and condos is off by about 15 - 20 percent.  There continue to be some great values out there so what are you waiting for? 

If you would like more detail on the current market and how this affects your Island real estate decisions to buy or sell, contact me.  It's a sensational day in paradise.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 04:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, May 23 2009
After 10 days with rain dominating all or part of the day - it is great to see the sun shining again on Sanibel Island.  And the outlook for the weekend is sunny!  This is true both actually and metaphorically.

It is true that it has been raining for most of the past 10 days - we desperately needed the rain so we are grateful.  An unusually early 'tropical wave' and stalled low pressure system were the cause. 

What is also true is that the sun is shining on Sanibel Island Real Estate at this time.  There have been many people visiting here and bringing their check books.  Contracts are being written and properties are selling again.  It seems as though the cloud has lifted slightly and the folks that have always wanted to own on Sanibel Island are coming back. May 2009 (through the 22nd) are outpacing the previous 4 months.  We have had 16 homes and condos close already and the number of properties under contract is growing. With the prices as relatively low as they are and the interest rates being at such low rates, it is truly a great time to buy. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 09:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2009

A very exciting announcement came out about Sanibel Island's first GREEN residential development.  As most know, there is very little property remaining on Sanibel Island that is able to be developed.  Over 65% of Sanibel is under conservation restrictions so any building of multiple units is big news. 

This project is a collaborative arrangement between Benchmark Construction, the Florida Community Design Center and the University of Florida School of Architecture that will bring forth a cluster of 12 single family homes on a 12 acre parcel along Periwinkle Way.  The project will be located on the previous site of the Old Schoolhouse Theater.  The mission of the project is "to create and optimize a sustainable, environmentally sensitive design that could become a model for future development of coastal communities in our region."

The objective of any GREEN development is to create a more sustainable situation for the environment.  This is done, for example,  through the use of cluster housing -  less impact on the environment, building materials that are energy efficient, renewable and kind to the environment, building systems that conserve water and power.  

This is totally in keeping with Sanibel Island and I am really looking forward to seeing where it goes.  I'll keep you posted.  For more info


Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, May 01 2009

Continuing with my recent discussion about where Sanibel Island Real Estate is at this time - Condos are our topic today. This isn’t pretty so hold on. In 2006, the median sales price of a condo on Sanibel was $768,000 and was on the market for an average of 119 days. In 2008 - the median condo price had dropped to $612,500 or down 20.23% and the days on market had climbed to 223 days. WOW - a world of difference. In 2009 we are continuing to see prices fall some - not as in a Ft. Myers fall but still a fall. Sanibel Island Real Estate continues to hold better than many markets but it is still not pretty. Until next time

Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, April 28 2009
Sanibel Island Real Estate is moving.  There is no doubt about it, the showings are up and the contracts being written are up.  As in most years, the more serious buyers come back after Easter to do their looking.  This is for a couple of reasons.  1.  It is easier to get into properties after season, the occupancy is lower and 2.  They aren't trying to combine a vacation with a property search.  It usually works better.  Anyway, the folks are here and they are looking to pick up a well priced piece of Sanibel real estate. I think we may be seeing our low. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 12:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 10 2009
Ok - I admit it - I am a Sanibel Island Realtor and I am always optomistic!  There, I said it - I am optomistic.  This time it is about some of the signs we are seeing, nationally and locally about the state of Sanibel Island Real Estate. 

On the national scene, the stock market has been posting fairly consistant gains and yesterday we saw all the indices rise with some good news about retailing and even - banking!  It is commonly believed that the stock market begins to rise about 6 months before an economic turnaround so, given that we have about 5 more months to go.  The interest rates continue to be low and the credit, that has been strangling the most credit worthy of folks, is finally loosening just a bit!  The employment data is really the big wild card.  With so many jobs being shed it will dampen any uptick in the retail improvements - but time will tell.  Having been a victim of the 1991 recession, being laid off, I can only tell you that things do improve and businesses respond in healthy ways

Locally - our tourist season on Sanibel has been healthy.  Most businesses are reporting the same if not a bit improved figures over last year.  And in Real Estate - we are seeing deals coming together.  After one of the slowest starts in a very long time, we are now finally seeing properties go under contract.  Since the beginning of the year, the low end is where the activity has been and now it is moving to the middle and high end.  It is quite exciting to see.  Personally I have a number of clients looking at coming down in May and June to look in earnest.  There is a ground swell of opinion that the bottom, of the Sanibel Real Estate market, may at last be in sight.  So maybe I'm not the only one who is optomistic! 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 08:12 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

 

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