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Monday, July 08 2019

Posted by: AT 09:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2019

Sanibel-Captiva Real Estate Sales - 2017 vs. 2018

All 2018 sales compared with all 2017 sales

It's time to compare our same-time sales over the years to see how the Sanibel real estate market is doing. As you can see in the stats below, 2017 vs. 2018, most catagories show a marked improvement from last year. The chart shows an upturn in just about every catagory.
Currently on Sanibel we have 231 home listings with prices ranging from $399,000 to $16,875,000. We have 107 Sanibel condo listings ranging from $239,000 to $2,100,000. On Captiva Island we currently have 39 home listings ranging from $879,000 to $10,900,000, and 42 Captiva condo listings from $340,000 to $3,995,000.

Our winter season is just gettin into gear and it looks like this should be a great year for Sanibel and Captiva Island real estate! If you have any questions, or you would like an estimate of value for your home, Contact Me Today!
 

Our Sanibel & Captiva Market

Homes Sold Av price Av Market/Days List/Sell %
Sanibel 2017 186 $1,004,237 163 93%
Sanibel 2018 218 $885,000 162 94%

Condos Sold Av Price Av Market/Days List/Sell %
Sanibel 2017 140 $728,793 188 95%
Sanibel 2018 154 $721,920 173 95%

Homesites Sold Av Price Av Market/Days List/Sell %
Sanibel 2017 32 $327,229 504 93%
Sanibel 2018 21 $602,095 240

93%

Homes Sold Av price Av Market/Days List/Sell %
Captiva 2017 22 $2,250,944 394 89%
Captiva 2018 25 $2,127,352 290 91%

Condos Sold Av price Av Market/Days List/Sell %
Captiva 2017 34 $671,551 261

96%

Captiva 2018

27 $797,532 153 93%
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!

Sanibel island

Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate

ReMax of the Islands

239-691-4915

Web Contact Form

Posted by: AT 08:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, December 12 2018

Planning to Finance that Real Estate? – Some things you need to know.

With the interest rates remaining low, the interest for buyers of real estate to finance the property remains popular. And why wouldn’t it? The prospect of liquidating other investments or depleting a cash cushion when the cost of borrowing is so low is questionable.


To accomplish the financing, you enter the “loan process.”  Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill into law, many new procedures and processes designed to protect the consumer from abusive loan activities have changed the loan process significantly. 

sanibel real estate
sanibel real estate Borrowers can expect they will need to provide more documentation to qualify for a loan, and the time from loan application to the closing will be about 45 to 60 days. Can it be done quicker? Yes, but there are some things that can slow down the loan approval that are out of the control of the bank or the borrower.
One of these things is the appraisal on the property being purchased. It used to be that the bank would simply call up one or two of their known appraisers to conduct the appraisal. Now, in order to not have the appearance, or the reality, of influence over the appraiser, the appraisal request is submitted to a third party clearing house who then assigns the appraisal out to an appraiser. The assigned appraiser may not have deep local knowledge of the market where the property is located. This is of particular concern on Sanibel and Captiva as we do not have a large volume of transactions that would give an appraiser the comparable properties to establish a value. sanibel real estate
sanibel real estate

Fortunately, Realtors who represent the buyers of these transactions are aware of this situation. They can assist in providing information on current real estate transactions of similar properties. Ultimately the appraiser will determine the similarities or differences of the properties and establish a fair value. Bottom line – the loan process is somewhat complex so ask questions and be informed.

I've helped buyers through the lending and appraisal process as well as personally buying, selling and building on Sanibel Island, and I am ready to put my experience to work for you! Whether you are buying or selling, I'm here to help you through the process.


This looks to be an active selling season with lots of great properties to choose from, so give me a call today!
Or you can start your search online through my website search feature. You can choose to search by map, price or any other criteria you choose.


Make this your year for Sanibel and Captive Island real estate!

sanibel real estate

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

Posted by: AT 10:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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, November 14 2018

Dealing With Home Inspections Before You Buy!

You have just signed a contract for your Sanibel Island Dream Home and your Realtor says – “What Inspections would you like to have on the property?”

Inspections are a good idea in most instances so that you – the buyer of the property – know what you are getting.  Some of the most lovely properties have been found to have some serious, but fixable, issues upon review by inspectors. 

Sanibel island real estate
Sanibel island real estate Examples of this include finding evidence of active termites, copper piping that may be ready to leak, wood pilings that may have been covered so that the damage from wicking isn’t obvious.  All of these, plus others, can be very unpleasant, even scary to a buyer, however with a through inspection, the property can most likely be fixed.
At the most basic, a General Inspection from a licensed inspector or General Contractor, and a Termite Inspection (WDO – Wood Destroying Organism inspection) would be a good place to start. These inspections will tell you if you need to bring in a roofer for a review and estimate on roof repairs, or a pool contractor if there seems to be a problem with the pool. A general inspection for termites, or similar wood destroying pests is also a good idea.   Sanibel island real estate
Sanibel island real estate

If mold is suspected, or the buyer has concerns about indoor air quality, a Mold Test is a good idea.  Many General Inspectors are either licensed to do this test or can coordinate bringing in a specialist for this test. 

Radon testing is also a test some folks will request.  Talking with your Realtor and the Inspector can determine if these tests make sense for the type of property you are purchasing and the concerns you may have.

Are you planning on selling your house in the next six months?  You may want to do pro-active inspections to find out and address any items that might be obstacles for potential buyers.  Most buyers like to know that the seller has been taking care of the property and that repairs have already been made. At the end of the day, inspections are a great idea so you can minimize surprises after the closing. Sanibel island real estate
Sanibel island real estate

As always, a Realtor (Me!) can help you through this process. I work with buyers and sellers concerning inspection issues and I'm sure I can help smooth the process. Give me a call, even if it's just for an estimate of the value of your property, or general questions about selling or buying a home on Sanibel or Captiva Island. Buying on a barrier island is different than buying a mainland home and I'd love to work with you!

Give me a call Today!

239-691-4915

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

Posted by: AT 10:46 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
Tuesday, October 16 2018

Closing day for your Sanibel or Captiva Island Property!

You have made it to the week of closing on the sale of your property – Great!  You and your Realtor have successfully priced, marketed and negotiated the deal and the moving van is arriving.  The day before closing you get a call from your extremely professional and effective Realtor who gives you the news – “Your closing may be delayed a day or two.” Sanibel real estate closing
Sanibel real estate closing How can this be – you have done everything and your Agent has been on top of the Buyer’s Agent and the buyer’s situation – what happened?
There are a number of scenarios that can occur that may delay a closing.  At the top of the list is delays resulting from the lending process.  Low interest rates have driven up the number of transactions that are being financed.  With recent changes to the lending process (TRID regulations) there are more checks and balances and more waiting periods prior to closing that have made the process a bit more complicated.  Most lenders have the timeline down however if there is any small delay due to a missing document or missing signature, the whole thing can bog down.  In this situation, the seller of the property has very little control and needs to rely on their agent to keep all parties in the loop on where things stand.

Sanibel real estate closing

Sanibel real estate closing

Sanibel real estate closing

Sanibel real estate closing

A second possible cause for delays, and one in which the seller has more control, is ensuring all permits for work done on the property are properly closed out.  If you have had any type of work done on your property that has required a permit to be pulled by the contractor, a new irrigation system, a new hot water heater, new windows installed, for examples, then it is imperative that after inspection, the permit be closed.  Getting an old, expired permit closed is a chore and sometimes quite challenging if the contractor is no longer in business. The Building Department is the source for this information and it is better handled before listing the property.  
Lastly – be sure that when you leave the property, any furnishings or fixtures that were to be left in the house per the contract – are there and functioning.  During that “final walk-through” the buyer and their agent will be checking to be sure that everything is there.  Unfortunately if the movers inadvertently packed the flat screen TV that was supposed to be left, you may, as the seller, be purchasing a new TV in order to close! Sanibel real estate closing
Sanibel real estate closing

It's important to have an experienced Realtor on your side to help you navigate the problems that can pop up during a closing. While you might be frustrated and worried, your Realtor (Me!) has most likely seen problems like yours and knows what to do to get the deal back on track!

Give me a call TODAY and I can put you on the right track to a sucessful closing of your Sanibel or Captiva Island property!

239-691-4915

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

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 24 2018

Visiting an Open House makes sense!

Are you in the market for a new house or condo?  Are you new to the area and trying to get the lay of the housing land?  Are you just curious what your neighbor’s house looks like and what they are trying to sell  it for?  Whatever the reason, most folks have gone to an open house or two. It makes sense and can be fun! Sanibel real estate
Sanibel real estate If you are seriously interested in either the particular property that is having an open house, or just trying to understand the market, there are some questions you should ask so you walk away with a better sense of what you are seeing.  You may not get all the answers but it never hurts to ask.

Ask:  Why is the home on the market?

Why?:  If the owner’s job has transferred or they have already moved, this can affect their motivation to sell.  They may be more motivated to take a lower price and close more quickly if the owner is already in their new location.

Sanibel real estate
sanibel real estate

Ask:  How long it has been on the market? And have there been any listing price reductions?

Why?:  Again – it goes to the seller’s motivation to  take a lower price.  It can also, if the property is vacant and it has been on the market for an extended period of time, trigger the thought that inspections will be key – a vacant home often has more problems than one that is lived in.

Ask:  What are the insurance, utilities, taxes and maintenance expenses are for the property?

Why?:  Knowing the cost of ownership can make or break owning a property.  Insurance expense can  be a real deal killer on our barrier islands so ask as early as possible. Remember too that the Property Taxes will be recalculated based upon the sale price of the property so the current owners taxes may not be yours.

sanibel real estate
sanibel real estate

Open houses can be fun.  They can also be informative if you are prepared with the right questions.

I want you to find the perfect property for you! Give me a call and I can help you with the sale of your home, or the purchase of a new home!

Call me today!

239-691-4915

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

Posted by: AT 09:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 10 2018

You have decided that a Sanibel Island Condo is a great option for your Island home. You ask your trusted Real Estate advisor (Me) to put together a list of properties that meet your criteria. The list is a good one and off you go to take a look. Along the way it comes up that you have a 35 pound dog who will be living in the condo as well. Stop the presses!  Many of the properties on the list are now off the list because of the condo Pet Policies. With the many different rules for condo pet ownership, call me to help you figure out what locations would suit your needs.

Sanibel real estate
Sanibel real estate

It is not unusual for there to be an outright ban on pets in condo complexes. That is actually the easy stance. Some associations require to meet the dog, and some allow you to purchase a unit in the complex with a dog but once it dies, there is a “no replacement” policy. It is also relatively common for a condo to allow owners to have pets, however tenants may not. Often those condos that allow owners to have pets also have a weight limit and/or limit the number of pets an owner may have.

If all this sounds a bit odd, put yourself in the position of being a resident in the complex. Larger dogs can be a risk if they jump up on other condo owners to "greet them." And any dog can be a challenge if they bark when the owner is away. Sometimes pets and their owners get along just fine but not so well with strangers. So, while the restrictions may seem odd, community living often requires a give and take.

Sanibel real estate
Sanibel real estate

Bottom line – if Condo living is your desire, and you have a dog, or a pet in general – do your homework! Or better yet, call me and I'll do the homework for you. I know how to keep updated on the changing rules for condo owners on Sanibel and Captiva islands.

Just give me a call, or use my online form, and I can get you a list of all properties that might fit your criteria.

This is a great time to check out Sanibel and Captiva! Not much traffic and our weather has been great! Give me a call today, or you can use my website homefinder search feature to get started on your property search. And don't forget to tell me about your pets!

Sarah Ashton Broker Associate ReMax of the Islands

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

Posted by: AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 21 2018

Call me to help you find the best Sanibel Island or Captiva Island Property!

To some real estate buyer newbies, the decision to make an offer on a Sanibel or Captiva Island property and to then work with their Realtor to submit the offer and negotiate it successfully is the final stage.  Buyers feel that the hard part is behind them and the rest is all downhill.

sanibel island real estate
Sanibel real estate

It may be downhill, however sometimes there are moguls or even some cliffs that may show up on the way to the real finish line and a successful Sanibel closing.  

Some aspects to consider start with a home inspection.  The inspections may find items that will cause the deal to be re-negotiated or, in some extreme conditions, cancel the contract entirely.  It is important to not get too emotionally tied to the property until you confirm it is all that you thought it was when you made the offer.

sanibel island real estate
sanibel island real estate

Secondly, if you are financing the purchase there will be an appraisal.  An acceptable purchase price to you and the seller may not be one that can be supported by the recently completed sales of similar properties in the area.  Prior to making an offer on a property, ask your Realtor to research the recent sale prices and assess whether the one you are looking at is bigger, smaller, newer, has features the others don’t – is within the same price range.  If the property does not appraise to the value of your contract to purchase the property, there will be discussion with the lender about how to proceed.

Lastly, don’t forget the small stuff.  By this I mean, if the property is being sold furnished – be sure to get an inventory.  Then, provide yourself sufficient time prior to signing the closing paperwork, to do a walk-through and verify everything is there.  In the same vein, it there were repair items that were supposed to be completed by the seller prior to closing, be sure to get the paid receipts from licensed professionals used to make the repairs.  If they were somewhat significant repairs, a re-inspection may be warranted.

sanibel island
sanibel real estate

All of these scenarios can be normal in a Real Estate transaction.  The key is to know this up front and rely on the experience of your Realtor and the professionals you have hired to inspect and finance your new property.  They can get you across the finish line!

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

Posted by: AT 11:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email



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

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

 

Office Phone: 239.472.2311
Mobile: 239.691.4915

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