The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau recently announced that Anna Maria Island has been named one of the world’s top islands, by Conde Nast Traveler readers. The travel magazine recently released the winners of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which ranks top cities, hotels, resorts, spas and cruise lines in the world, based on readers’ votes. One of only 11 U.S. islands on the list, and the only representative from Florida, Anna Maria Island clinched the No. 26 spot, with a readers’ rating of 81.373. Anna Maria is described by Conde Nast Traveler as a “narrow band off Florida’s west coast, this barrier island has some of the softest, whitest sand on the East Coast. And as it faces west, it’s a stunning place to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.
Pro tip: At seven miles long and two miles wide, Anna Maria Island is a great place for a leisurely biking trip along the water. By-the-hour cycle rentals a re available at Beach Bums.” “This ranking confirms how special Anna Maria Island is to not only to our community, but to visitors as well,” said Elliott Falcione, executive director at the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Anna Maria Island is so much more than seven miles of beautiful sugar white sand beaches, it’s a community that is low rise, low key, with an old Florida setting that sets itself apart from other islands.”
As a 25-year resident of the Sarasota area I can tell you that Lakewood Ranch is an extremely popular area and is one of the nicer areas to live on Florida’s Gulf coast – it’s very nicely manicured throughout and there are many, many walking trails, lakes, and public parks to add ambiance. It’s self-sufficient with grocery stores, gas stations, A+-rated schools, and even a downtown area with a movie theater and open-air cafes.
Lakewood Ranch is actually a collection of villages and communities centered around a Florida lifestyle. There are many golf courses throughout the communities and it’s just a short drive (20-30 minutes) to some of the finest beaches in the USA including the #1-ranked Siesta Key Beach and Anna Maria Island. The current construction is almost 10,000 acres but there’s a huge area stretching into Sarasota County that’s about to be incorporated into the community.
The Ranch has a very active lifestyle. Aside from the ample golf opportunities there’s a frisbee golf course, a roller-hockey rink, soccer fields, baseball fields, and nature trails that meander through preserve areas and are perfect for a Saturday morning walk. The population is vibrant and there’s ALWAYS something happening there.
Construction began in the Ranch in 1995. Most homes are single-family housing but there are condos, townhouses, and villas within the area; I’m sure we can find whatever style construction you like. Some neighborhoods are gated and almost all of them are very well-kept. Single family homes range from around $200,000 to almost $4,000,000.www.sarasotapropertygroup.com.
With cooler fall temperatures, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy all that the Sarasota area has to offer. Here are just a few of the many events going on around town during November:
|Date||Event or Activity||Location||Click Link forMore Information|
|Nov. 1st||Ferrari’s On The Circle||Lido Key||St. Armands Circle Association|
|Nov. 1-2nd||27th Annual Downtown Venice Art Festival||Venice||ArtFestival.com|
|Nov. 1st||Mable’s Vines & Finds, Sarasota Garden Club Sale||Sarasota||Sarasota Garden Club|
|Nov. 1st||Sarasota Bay Water Festival||Sarasota||Sarasota Bay Water Festival|
|Nov. 5th||Fall Walk at Curry Creek Preserve||Venice||Sarasota County Parks|
|Nov. 7th||Live from Downtown It’s Friday Night||Sarasota||Downtown Sarasota Association|
|Nov. 7-8th||Festival of the Skeletons||Bradenton||Village of the Arts|
|Nov. 8th||Symphony on the Sand||Anna Maria Island||Symphony on the Sand|
|Nov. 8-23rd||Sarasota Medieval Fair||Sarasota||Sarasota Medieval Fair|
|Nov. 8th||Music & Art by the Train||Parrish||Parrish Arts Council|
|Nov. 8-9th||St. Armands Circle Fall Art Festival||Lido Key||St. Armands Circle Association|
|Nov. 11th||Neighborhood Toy Store Day||Sarasota||Children’s World Event|
|Nov. 14-18th||Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition||Siesta Key||Siesta Key Crystal Classic|
Sarasota Chalk Festival
Venice Blues Festival
|Venice||Venice Main Street|
|Nov. 15th||Designer Tag Sale||Sarasota||Historical Society of Sarasota County|
|Nov. 15th||Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market||Bradenton||Realize Bradenton|
|Nov. 16th||Chamber Soiree String Quartet||Sarasota||Sarasota Orchestra|
|Nov. 16th||Family Bike Adventures at Carlton Reserve||Venice||Sarasota County Parks & Recreation|
|Nov. 19th||Family Storytime||Sarasota||Selby Public Library|
|Nov. 20th||Main Street Live||Bradenton||Realize Bradenton|
|Nov. 20th||Art After 5||Sarasota||Ringling Museum of Art|
|Nov. 22-23rd||Mixon’s Harvest Festival||Bradenton||Mixon Fruit Farm|
|Nov. 22-23rd||Sarasota Fine Arts Festival||Sarasota||Paragon Art Events|
|Nov. 26th||Casey Key/Nokomis Beach Drum Circle||Casey Key||West Wind|
|Nov. 28th||Fourth Friday at the Historic Downtown Village||Sarasota||Downtown Village Sarasota|
|Nov. 29th||Sarasota Farmer’s Market||Sarasota||Sarasota Farmer’s Market|
Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.
The Bijou Café is a charming Continental-American restaurant located in the heart of Sarasota’s downtown Theatre & Arts District. Over the years the cuisine, award-winning wine list and exemplary unobtrusive service have set the standard for dining on the Sun Coast and established the Bijou as one of Sarasota’s most sought after fine dining destinations.
Since 1986, Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and his wife Shay have owned and operated The Bijou Café. It has grown from a small 50-seat restaurant to a seating capacity of 140 people in three separate dining rooms. The enchanting décor you’d expect in a quaint, but modern European café surrounds you with French windows and doors throughout, sparkling glassware, bouquets of freshly-picked flowers and the soft glow of candlelight.
We recently visited the Bijou Café with our neighborhood dining group of 24 people. It’s great to have a place that has wonderful food, service and can easily accomodate large parties or be a perfect spot for a special dinner for two.
Check them out at http://www.bijoucafe.net/Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.
The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for last month which show that the Sarasota County real estate market remained on pace for near record sales numbers in September 2014, ending the month with 934 closed transactions – 14 percent higher than last September when 817 properties changed hands. Sales for the first three-quarters of the year now stand at 8,784, about 200 sales over last year’s pace which wound up as the second highest sales year in the county’s history. A strong closing quarter (sales of 900 per month or higher) could push the final figure near the historic year of 2004, when 11,482 sales were recorded in the county.
The breakdown for closed sales in September 2014 was 688 single family homes and 246 condos sold, according to figures released by Florida Realtors ®. Closings were down slightly from the August 2014 figures of 698 single family homes and 277 condos sold (975 total).
The median sale price for single family homes stood at $189,000 for single family homes, off slightly from the $195,750 in August 2014 and almost identical to last September’s figure of $189,902. The condo median was $195,000, up about 10 percent from last month and up 18 percent from last September’s figure of $165,000.
The fluctuations in condominium prices have not been unusual in recent years, compared to the steadier nature of the single family home market, and tend to reflect the buying tendencies of investors in the market. The median sale price for the 12-month period ending in August, which moderates monthly swings, was $196,000 for single family homes, 10 percent higher than last September’s 12- month period of $178,000. For condos, it was $180,000, up about 12.5 percent over last September’s 12 -month period of $160,000.
To view the full press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors visit http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Sept2014Stats14102194502.pdfJoe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!
The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents another one of its popular “Jazz on the Water” cruises aboard LeBarge, which departs from Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota. The date is Sunday, November 2nd from 2-4:00pm.
Guests will enjoy the swinging Dixieland sounds of The Greg Nielsen Quartet with Nielsen on trombone, Howie Smith on tuba, Bobby Tees on cornet and Dean Fernald on keyboard.
Tickets are $30 for Jazz Club members; $35 for non-members. Snacks and beverages will be available for sale; guests are requested not to bring coolers. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m. Space is limited.
We were looking for something to do on a rainy Wednesday in Sarasota so we decided to take a drive out to Longboat Key off Ken Thompson Parkway. This Seabird Sanctuary is across from Mote Marine Aquarium. It’s a wonderful non-profit organization in the community for birds that are sick, rescued or injured. Birds of all different species are brought into the facility to rehabilitate from injuries and you can actually observe the various stages of recovery.
When we first arrived, we were given a list of the birds and why they were there. I would guess there were at least 250 Birds that we were able to view up close and personal. It was kind of neat to watch how well cared for they were and with the intention mainly to release them to their natural habit within the Sarasota area. Some birds do remain at the facility if they are not releaseable and it becomes their forever home. The facility is not just for seabirds though we saw hawks, owls, vultures and various other kinds of birds that my husband found quite fascinating.
I think it’s an interesting learning experience for all ages. The volunteers were on hand to answer questions and were quite friendly. Please go and support this facility as the small admission cost is applied towards the care and upkeep of these seabirds, the facility and the wildlife learning center.
For more information, visit www.saveourseabirds.orgAs an experienced Realtor, Cheryl believes in “client first” philosophyl She prides her services on accessibility, attention to detail, effective listening and communication skills, awareness of meeting her client’s needs and has the tools to explain the buying process whether you’re a first time home buyer, a move-up buyer, relocating or an investment buyer.
Last weekend the weather was perfect for a convertible ride so we headed east from Lakewood Ranch to check out the Rosa Fiorelli Winery in east Manatee County. We tasted some really nice wines and enjoyed chatting with Heather and Rosa in their tasting room.
They have been in business for 16 years. The Winery has its own building for fermenting and bottling, and a separate building for tasting and sales and has recently expanded to 10 acres of vineyard and a 3000 sq. ft. winery. Mature grapevines allow for u-pick fresh grapes bronze or black Muscadine grapes in early August to September.
I always thought that muscadine grapes would just make a very sweet wine but found they have quite a variety from dry to sweet. The last sample was of a dessert wine that was to die for with a bite of chocolate!
Throughout the year they offer tours and Wine & Dine events so check out their website for dates and further information.
Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.
The Sarasota Association of Realtors recently released the sales statistics for the month of August 2014 which show sales remaining strong during the month. Homes and condos continued to sell at a brisk pace in Sarasota County in August, once again nearly reaching the 1,000 level with 975 closed transactions. The eight-month total from the start of the year now stands at 7,850, about 100 sales ahead of last year’s near record totals.
The breakdown for closed sales in August 2014 was 698 single family homes and 277 condos sold, according to figures released by Florida Realtors®. Closings were up 5 percent from last month (July), when they hit 928, and up 1.8 percent from August 2013, when there were 957 closings.
The median sale price for single family homes stood at $195,750 in August 2014, down slightly from the July figure of $201,000, and almost identical to last August’s figure of $195,000. The condo median was $177,000, down 16 percent from the July 2014 figure of $205,000, but almost 10 percent higher than last August, when the median sale price was $161,000. The fluctuations in condominium prices have not been unusual in recent years, compared to the steadier nature of the single family home market, and tend to reflect the buying tendencies of investors and the “downsizing” couples seeking a smaller abode.
To view the full press release and statistical charts visit http://sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Aug2014Stats14092283021.pdf
Joe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!
Join Donte’s Den Foundation in supporting the 2014 Top Dog Show on October 18th from 5:30 – 8:30pm at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. The area’s premier dog lovers event features a Westminster-like dog show where owners can enter their four-legged friends in playful categories including: Best Dressed, Best Hair, Best Catch and Fetch, Best Kiss, Funniest Dog Trick. Patrons will enjoy fine dining with their canine companions or chilling out in one of the Donte’s Den lounges onsite. Volunteers will be on hand to care and walk dogs while owners and their friends enjoy the show.