Blog

Busy March!
By Valerie
December 7, 2017

Posted by Valerie Tutor on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 5:20pm.

It’s March! This is THE crunch time for our winter season.  I am so late with this blog!   The island is bursting at the seams with visitors escaping the winter storms and off-island guests who “day trip” to our island to sightsee, beach it, find a shell, see a porpoise or manatee, and enjoy our great restaurants. Lots of folks are purchasing their own piece of the island and I am even busy selling just off island in south Fort Myers.  There are some gorgeous home and condo communities just off island and you can usually get much more for your money.  It is still warm, still beautiful and just 5-15 minutes to Sanibel!  So, let’s see what our market is doing this past month on Sanibel- Captiva Islands:   56 sold or pending home listings and 34 condos sold or pending between Feb 1 & the first week of March; prices are holding steady with listings getting around 93% of their listing price.   New listings are coming on the market each day but not enough to keep up with those being sold.  We only have a total of 200 homes on the market today and only 154 condos on both islands combined. There are 3500 condos on the islands, so as you can see,inventory is very tight.  Things that are priced right - which is going up rapidly - are selling within 30 days. If you are waiting for later, there may not be much choice left.     Dave Owens, as of 1031 Tax Free Strategies, gave a great talk to my office this morning about Self Directed IRAs and 1031 Exchanges and their incredible advantages for those who like to invest in real estate.  I was so impressed.  Our broker used a couple of examples of current listings and the return on investment which was amazing. 

In the meantime, we are experiencing sunny, blue skies and 80 degree temperatures in SW Florida. It is tough but someone has to do it.  The weather brings us a great opportunity for biking through Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, or enjoying the beach and maybe a cocktail at the pool bar at West Wind Inn. Community events like the Sanibel Shell Festival and charity events like the SanCap Cares fundraiser the Golisano Children’s Hospital make it hard to keep track of your social calendar here!  The Sanibel Farmers Market is a must on Sunday mornings after church where you will find the best and freshest produce, preserves, and baked goods, along with lots of other items.  This month, the evening’s entertainment includes a production of Godspell (flashback to my youth) at the Herb Strauss Theater where I am chairman of the theater committee and then a bite at Il Cielo, one of the classiest places here in our Sanibel paradise.   Easter will be here in another month, springtime and soon we will say good bye to our winter residents who reluctantly leave their Sanibel-Captiva paradise palaces and head up to northern homes.  I will be right here, though, working to help make my clients dreams come true.  Let your island fairy godmother help you – we saved you a seat, you know.

It\'s February In Sanibel - 2015
By Valerie
December 7, 2017

Posted by Valerie Tutor on Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 3:28pm.

Happy February!  The season is now in full swing here and I hope everyone else is staying warm! We have been so busy here on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  Real estate is selling briskly as all of our new – and old – winter friends are coming in to find their special place.  Homes and condos that are hitting the market reasonably priced (which has gone up considerably in the last two years) and updated even a little, are selling within weeks.  Currently, we have a total of about 200 homes and 160 condos on Sanibel and Captiva for sale.  Just in the past month, we have had 12 homes close and 41 homes go under contract here on the islands.   Nine condos have closed and 24 have gone under contract this month as well.  Wow.  The off island communities are selling briskly and often provide a better value for those who are not as addicted to the island lifestyle like some of us!

I have been excited to hold Open Houses at two of our premier condo units on the island.  Both are penthouse units with 3-4 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms!  These two are the size of a large home and both have spectacular beachfront Gulf views! Sanibel Sea View is a 4 bedroom on the east end of the island.  You can look at your gorgeous Gulf view and see Naples in the distance, it is that clear.  Seascape of Sanibel is a 3 bedroom on west Gulf that features a roof top sundeck.  While they both could be updated a bit, you could move in tomorrow and sit on your expansive lanais with a glass of wine gazing at the turquoise waters and brilliant blue sky.  The lifestyle is really priceless and you could have it for about $1,800,000. Maybe less if we negotiate well. J

With all the winter residents and visitors returning, the events on the island are keeping our social calendars busy.  Charity events are great fun and raise money for a variety of worthy causes such as the Golisano Children’s Hospital, the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, and Big Arts to name a few,..  Gala parties, golf tournaments, car shows and art gallery exhibitions fill this winter’s calendars.  As chairman of the Herb Strauss Theater Committee this year, I recently attended the opening night of our fourth production of the season open this past weekend, The Fourth Wall.  Sundial Resorts were gracious enough to sponsor our Opening Night reception and Congress Jewelers  (I get all my jewelry there – original pieces and wonderful staff) and The Island Sun are the show’s sponsors and we love them!  They allow us to produce great theater right here on the islands.  

Lastly, I want to give a shout out and a hearty yippee to the Johnson’s from Tennessee who closed last week on their very own Sanibel vacation property with a beautiful Bay view and just steps to the beach!  They found their seat here – how about you?  I am trying to save you one - Call me.

Happy New Year 2015
By Valerie
December 7, 2017

Posted by Valerie Tutor on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 at 11:50pm.

Happy New Year!  It is 2015 already and they’re baaack…or I should say “you’re baaaack.”  :) The season actually seems to have started in December 2014 with more visitors than I have seen in a long time this time of year riding the bike paths of Sanibel Island and enjoying the sparkling waters of the Gulf and the Bay.  

I hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year’s celebration.  We spent New Year’s Eve island-style at the timeless Jensen’s Twin Palms Marina in Captiva.  Locals and visitors from all over the world look forward to the annual New Year’s Eve bash under the stars on the little beach at their Marina.  The Troublestarters, our resident island band, gets the celebration going,  jamming on the makeshift stage, cranking out original tunes about our island paradise that gets everyone up dancing in the sand especially with a dose of liquid courage. Coolers, cocktails, homemade appetizers, and beach chairs are the order of the night as folks meet up and socialize with other visitors that they haven’t seen since last New Year’s Eve.  What a blast.  

Then it was on to Tween Waters Resort Captiva to join their annual New Year’s Eve party featuring “The Modulators” a band from Ohio that has played the New Year’s Eve party every year at Tween Waters for the last 20-25 years; I lost count. It really is the place to be here on Captiva. 

The weather has been just wonderful and not to rub it in, but the day before New Year’s Eve, my hubby and I were out fishing & boating with several of our friends enjoying warm weather, sunny skies and beautiful blue water.  We had a fantastic lunch when we stopped off at Cabbage Key, a small, rustic resort island that has a very cool – and very popular restaurant.  Dolphin watching and pool bar hopping capped off a perfect day & a great way to close out 2014. 

Turning to real estate – the season is here!  The island is filling up with our seasonal visitors as well as buyers from all over the U.S. & the world seeking just the right place here on Sanibel or Captiva.  It has been so busy.  Folks came down in December hurrying to buy something so they will not be left out.  It is definitely a seller’s market with our low inventory and while price points are rising higher almost every month, a fairly priced home usually isn’t staying on the market more than 30 days.  One house I showed last month was priced below market value (very rare here).  It was on the market just 3 days and received 3 offers of which one was accepted. I have been hosting several open houses for John R. Wood Properties listings and interested buyers have been coming in with specific goals. 

Last month the average sales price for a residential home here was just over $1,000,000 and condo’s averaged about $450,000.  Still, the median (most popular) sales price for a home on Sanibel was $765,000 and condo’s median was $420,000.  Listings are getting scarce although recently some owners have decided to get back into the market and sell since things have been getting stronger.  Hopefully, we will be able to find a property for each buyer, but they will have to be savvy and move quickly. 

Lastly, if you are looking to come down and rent for the season – or even partially – the islands are literally sold out for this month, February, March and most of April.  Even our outstanding off island communities like Sanibel View in the south Fort Myers area are booked solid.  There may be a few vacancies left for shorter vacation periods at the condos/resorts who are able to book weekly such as the Sundial Resort & Spa on Sanibel. 

I hope I get to meet you in person this season – or at least via email.  Feel free to drop me a line with your questions.  I am happy to answer them.  I love Sanibel and Captiva – frankly, I love Florida.  So stay warm and we’ll talk.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah 2014
By Valerie
December 7, 2017

Posted by Valerie Tutor on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 at 11:50pm.

Happy New Year!  It is 2015 already and they’re baaack…or I should say “you’re baaaack.”  :) The season actually seems to have started in December 2014 with more visitors than I have seen in a long time this time of year riding the bike paths of Sanibel Island and enjoying the sparkling waters of the Gulf and the Bay.  

I hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year’s celebration.  We spent New Year’s Eve island-style at the timeless Jensen’s Twin Palms Marina in Captiva.  Locals and visitors from all over the world look forward to the annual New Year’s Eve bash under the stars on the little beach at their Marina.  The Troublestarters, our resident island band, gets the celebration going,  jamming on the makeshift stage, cranking out original tunes about our island paradise that gets everyone up dancing in the sand especially with a dose of liquid courage. Coolers, cocktails, homemade appetizers, and beach chairs are the order of the night as folks meet up and socialize with other visitors that they haven’t seen since last New Year’s Eve.  What a blast.  

Then it was on to Tween Waters Resort Captiva to join their annual New Year’s Eve party featuring “The Modulators” a band from Ohio that has played the New Year’s Eve party every year at Tween Waters for the last 20-25 years; I lost count. It really is the place to be here on Captiva. 

The weather has been just wonderful and not to rub it in, but the day before New Year’s Eve, my hubby and I were out fishing & boating with several of our friends enjoying warm weather, sunny skies and beautiful blue water.  We had a fantastic lunch when we stopped off at Cabbage Key, a small, rustic resort island that has a very cool – and very popular restaurant.  Dolphin watching and pool bar hopping capped off a perfect day & a great way to close out 2014. 

Turning to real estate – the season is here!  The island is filling up with our seasonal visitors as well as buyers from all over the U.S. & the world seeking just the right place here on Sanibel or Captiva.  It has been so busy.  Folks came down in December hurrying to buy something so they will not be left out.  It is definitely a seller’s market with our low inventory and while price points are rising higher almost every month, a fairly priced home usually isn’t staying on the market more than 30 days.  One house I showed last month was priced below market value (very rare here).  It was on the market just 3 days and received 3 offers of which one was accepted. I have been hosting several open houses for John R. Wood Properties listings and interested buyers have been coming in with specific goals. 

Last month the average sales price for a residential home here was just over $1,000,000 and condo’s averaged about $450,000.  Still, the median (most popular) sales price for a home on Sanibel was $765,000 and condo’s median was $420,000.  Listings are getting scarce although recently some owners have decided to get back into the market and sell since things have been getting stronger.  Hopefully, we will be able to find a property for each buyer, but they will have to be savvy and move quickly. 

Lastly, if you are looking to come down and rent for the season – or even partially – the islands are literally sold out for this month, February, March and most of April.  Even our outstanding off island communities like Sanibel View in the south Fort Myers area are booked solid.  There may be a few vacancies left for shorter vacation periods at the condos/resorts who are able to book weekly such as the Sundial Resort & Spa on Sanibel. 

I hope I get to meet you in person this season – or at least via email.  Feel free to drop me a line with your questions.  I am happy to answer them.  I love Sanibel and Captiva – frankly, I love Florida.  So stay warm and we’ll talk.

Fall In Sanibel
By Valerie
December 7, 2017

Posted by Valerie Tutor on Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 7:44pm.

 Welcome back!  September is usually the quietest month on the island, so many of us islanders take that time to travel ourselves.  I went to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York and I have never been past Virginia before!  So, that was quite the adventure for this Florida native.  It was so nice to see other states where many of the people I know here on the island actually live the rest of the year.  I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty of many of the places to which we traveled.  I was awestruck by the sight of New York City itself (what a Florida gal) with Rockefeller Center, Central Park, 42nd Street, and 5th Avenue!  I was tremendously touched by the reverent Twin Towers Memorial.  It was amazing, inspiring, sad and encouraging all at the same time.  We are such a great nation of so many different personalities, flavors, and cultures and I am so very grateful for all that we are as Americans.  October here on Sanibel-Captiva is one of the best months.  The weather gets cooler – for us anyway – and fall is definitely here.  It was 65N degrees here this morning.  The fishing gets really good as the redfish and snook get active and the water cools off. 

The annual FISH 10K Race is this month and raises money for our local human services organization.  Over 500 runners from as far as away as Holland come to join in the fun.  We also have a weeklong celebration called “Ding Darling Days” that highlights our Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  There will be lots of activities for the whole family including a scavenger hunt around the refuge! Believe it or not, as quiet a September was, the John R. Wood Island Properties group that I work with had record sales for the month of September.  It was amazing and I am so proud of my coworkers.  We are gearing up for season and talking with many owners about listing their properties since it will be busy this year and we are expecting sales even greater than 2014.  So, if you are still on the fence about selling- or buying – please give me a call. 239.834.8141 We really need to talk so you can make the best decision for you!

VALERIE TUTOR

I am a true Florida native and proud of my heritage growing up in South Florida on an 80 acre cattle ranch only two hours from Sanibel. Since the early 1960s, my family loved to spend our free time on Sanibel and Captiva, so I pretty much grew up here. After living and working all over South and Central Florida, my husband and I were thrilled to be able to move home to Sanibel Island.

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Kingfisher Real Estate Inc National Association of Realtors Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist
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