Posted by Valerie Tutor on Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 5:06pm.
The lazy days of August are in full swing and to quote another song, we are hot, hot, hot! Songs always pop in my head when I am writing my blogs! It's a island thing, I think. Anyway, no worries. The great thing about Sanibel & Captiva Islands and our south Fort Myers area is that we get the sea breezes coming in during the afternoon to cool things off a bit. It is our rainy season so we can often get a rainstorm that pops up later in the day to dampen the sizzle and keep our tropical setting lush. They usually don’t last long and the sun comes out again. Shelling is almost always better after a short storm.
Our islands continue to be BUSY which is so exciting. There are more visitors on island this August than in summers past. Many are from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and other east coast Florida cities enjoying a last vacation on our gorgeous beaches prior to the kids heading back to school. Sanibel and Captiva are popular vacation destinations for other Floridians! At lunch the other day at my favorite lunch spot on the island, The Island Cow, I also heard a virtual symphony of other languages and accents from Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, England and others I didn’t recognize. At Sweet Melissa’s Café, one of my favorite dinner spots, we met a couple from Ireland at the bar enjoying one of K.O.’s custom creations along with Melissa’s gourmet cuisine.
Sales on Sanibel and Captiva have not stopped this summer. Buyers are still here! We have the happy problem of not enough inventory. From January to June, homes, condos, vacation and rental properties were going fast. Prices were up 12% and the summer slowdown has not damped buyer’s enthusiasm. Average sales price for homes on Sanibel-Captiva in July was $809,000 and the average sales price for condos was $718,500. Fort Myers off island communities had 553 sales just in July (!) and the homes were averaging 95% of their list price. Wow. Property manager and accommodations on the islands as well as Fort Myers Beach are reporting they are full with few vacancies for condo or resort rentals! So, when will I see you?? Isn’t it time that you get your own piece of paradise?
Posted by Valerie Tutor on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 2:10pm.
The 4th of July is almost here. Happy Birthday to America – to us! We live in such a great country. We may get down but we are never out! America is looking up again. This past winter on Sanibel and Captiva islands was one of the best and busiest ever. Real estate sales broke records and prices were up an average of 13%. We welcomed many new property owners to our island. People from Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Canada and Germany, just to name a few, all realized the dream of owning a first or second home on Sanibel-Captiva Islands. Now we are welcoming our summer vacationers who come with the whole family to enjoy everything the islands have to offer. Like many towns all over the country, we have a big birthday party planned to celebrate July 4th. A fun and hilarious local parade kicks off the day – winding its way down Periwinkle Way with floats and everything! Island businesses, social groups and community service clubs have a great time creating their 4th of July parade entries and displaying them down the thoroughfare of Sanibel. In the evening, there is the Sanibel Island Fireworks Night party at the Dunes Golf and Country Club on Sanibel. This has become a tradition where resident and visitors alike gather at the golf course to watch the Fireworks show held off Sanibel Causeway. We have a big party with an old-fashioned cook-out, activities for the families and then the fireworks show just after dark. It is spectacular to see the gorgeous displays of color and light in our night sky and reflected in the glassy waters of San Carlos Bay and Pine Island Sound. During the summer, many of our guests are here from Canada, England and Europe. It is especially wonderful to see them join in the party and wish America a happy birthday. Everyone has a great time seeing old friends and making new ones as we celebrate our country’s birth together here in paradise. Remember, that I can bring you home here too! See you soon.
Posted by Valerie Tutor on Sunday, May 4th, 2014 at 12:54am.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season is here! May 1st starts the beginning of nesting season for sea turtles throughout Florida. Islanders and visitors will start to notice nests on the beach that will be full of sea turtle eggs. Sanibel and Captiva Island beach represent important sites that contribute to the nesting effort in Florida and have more activity than any other beaches in our county. Loggerhead, green, waterhead, and the rare Kemp’s Ridley and Leatherback sea turtles make their way to the Sanibel & Captiva beaches of our islands to lay their eggs! Mama turtles lay their eggs at night, after dragging themselves out of the water onto the beach and finding a suitable location. They depend on the moon to navigate from the ocean to the beach and back again. The eggs incubate in the warm sand for about two months before the hatchlings begin to emerge. They hatch at night when the sand is cool and depend on the moonlight to guide them to the water. Our islands have a wonderful group of volunteers, supervised by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, that patrol the beach each morning to mark and monitor nests during the season, which lasts through October. Visitors have asked me why it seems so dark sometimes on our island and a lot of the reason is that we are committed to eliminating “light pollution” at night, especially along the beachfront, to avoid disorienting the hatchlings as they emerge and make their journey to the ocean. The other advantage is that the night sky is so pretty here! Since the turtles are protected by law, residents and beach visitors are asked to remove any furniture at night from the beach and the dunes that might become a barrier to a nesting turtle or a hatchling; level sandcastles and fill in holes; pick up trash; honor the leash law so that our beach-going dogs don’t accidentally dig up a nest. When you come to Sanibel & Captiva during the summer, you will no doubt see the nests along the beach marked with colorful tape or cones and you will know there are baby turtles incubating there! If you want to learn more about sea turtles on Sanibel & Captiva or all our other native critters – visit SCCF’s nature center when you are here or go to www.sccf.org!
Posted by Valerie Tutor on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 12:41am.
It’s April! I love this month. While the season is winding down, many of my northern friends are still here and spring is here too. I am looking out the window of the John R. Wood Island Properties office today at a cloudless, blue, sunny sky. The weatherman says it is 79 degrees. San Carlos Bay, by the Sanibel Causeway bridges, seems to glitter in shades of turquoise and jade - which happen to be my favorite colors. The weather forecast says it will be sunny and 80 degrees tomorrow, the next day, the day after that and …well, you get my drift. This morning I watched an eagle race a hawk in the skies above the lake behind my house while a pair of ducks paddled around the edges. One of our local alligators appeared soon after to claim his sunning spot on the bank near my neighbor’s house. This is what I wake up to here in my neighborhood. Sunday, we had our HOA picnic in the lot by the lake and everyone brought a covered dish. What a great group of people here in Sanibel Lake Estates. Some are full time residents like me and others are seasonal. All of them are friendly and happy to be here. I get to learn so much about “faraway” places like Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Canada and more - places this Florida native has never been. I travel vicariously through my friends, neighbors, and clients! Speaking of which, I have to get back to work now. There is a gorgeous little vacation home, completely updated, right on a canal with Gulf access, a pool and a boat lift that I need to tell a client about – I think it will be perfect for them. See you soon!
Posted by Valerie Tutor on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 12:31am.
It is March and the ‘season’ is in full swing here on Sanibel. We actually do have seasons in sunny Florida. This is our snowbird season. Lots of our friends & neighbors from the northern states and Canada flee the cold weather and come to Florida for the winter. Many of them own second homes here and others rent homes. The last few years have also seen a rise in visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe. All enjoy our sunny days.
I love this time of year because I get to see friends I haven’t seen since last year and the islands are busy with lots of activity. Of course, this time of year also brings a lot of real estate activity. Buyers come down to find their piece of paradise and sellers look to move up or downsize, so we get very busy with open houses, showing homes and helping people become new residents of Sanibel and Captiva – or our south Fort Myers communities. Last week, I was happy to assist a great couple from Germany purchase their first Sanibel home. They shared an article about Sanibel they had seen in the British paper, The Guardian, whose headline had Sanibel tagged as a “haven of tranquility.” I like that word…tranquil. Biking, beaching, fishing, shelling, eating, Sanibel culture and fun!
Time to do another Open House – it’s a great day and the sun is shining here on Sanibel Island, so I am hopeful I will meet the next new Sanibel resident today! Is it you?
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.READ MORE