7 Considerations for Retiring on Sanibel

Retirement looks different to everyone. Even if you know you plan to retire on Sanibel, there are a number of ways to do it, and different homes to choose from. So let’s discuss the types of retirement properties on island and several factors you should consider. 

Single Family Retirement Homes

Since you’ve likely lived in a single family home for the majority of your life, it’s natural for most to focus solely on single family dwellings in their retirement home search. Here are a few factors to consider when searching for single family homes on island. 

1. Elevated vs. Ground-Level – Consider the ease of mobility of your future retirement home, especially as the years go by and the stairs become more of a challenge. Ground-level homes are usually easier to navigate, but a number of elevated homes on island have chair lifts or elevators as well. 

Click here to see all elevated homes for sale on Sanibel Island.

Click here to see all ground-level homes for sale on Sanibel Island.

2. Island Location – East end, west end, or mid-island? While each area has pros and cons, one consideration is how often you’ll need to drive off-island for doctors appointments and errands.  

3. HOA Fees & Amenities – There’s a nice mixture of HOA and non-HOA communities on Sanibel Island. Even the HOA communities vary in fees and amenities. We can filter your home search based on HOA criteria. 

4. Original vs Updated – As you start your search, you’ll find a good number homes on island that could use some renovations. Usually, you can negotiate a better price for these out-dated homes, but be sure to get quotes for the planned renovations and factor these into your overall cost of the property. 

Condo Retirement Considerations

Some of the same considerations apply to both single family homes and condos. In addition to those listed above, condo-specific considerations include:

5. Rental Restrictions – Even if you do not plan to rent out your condo unit, the rental restrictions of your complex can still affect the character of your complex. For example, daily and weekly rentals have a higher turnaround of vacationers, and, therefore, are usually busier with cars and people in and out more often.

6. Complex Size – Along the same lines as the rental restrictions, the size of your complex will also play a factor in how busy the parking lot, pool and common areas are. Keep in mind that the number of units also has an affect on the association assessments and dues that are split amongst the condo owners. 

7. Direct Gulf vs Partial Gulf – Here, we’re talking about the view from inside your unit. We can filter your search to include direct or partial gulf views, but the best way to get a feel for the view is it visit the unit in person!

Click here for all condos listed with direct gulf views.

Click here for all condos listed with partial gulf views.


We hope this helps you think about the various aspects of purchasing a retirement home on island. Of course there are many other factors to consider. We’re happy to chat with you about what’s a good fit for you! 

Susan McCallion About Susan McCallion

Meet "Your Favorite Redhead." Susan was exposed to real estate while young with her parent's 8 Re/MAX offices in Connecticut! In 2008, Susan and Jim became permanent Sanibel residents, starting McCallion & McCallion to bring a fresh approach to real estate.