Sarasota Jazz Festival

By | February 27, 2015

Jazz Club of Sarasota

The Sarasota Jazz Festival is coming up on March 1st through March 7th. Sponsored by The Jazz Cruise and Sarasota County Tourist Development revenues, this year’s line-up includes pianist and composer Dick Hyman with saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Peplowski and vocalist Kitt Moran; the Freddy Cole Quartet; vocalist Karla Harris, performing a live debut of “A Tribute to Brubeck” with the Ted Howe Trio; the Sarasota Jazz Project; and jazz violinist Doug Cameron.

This year’s festival also includes the free “Jazz in the Park” kickoff concert at Phillippi Estate Park and the popular Jazz Trolley and Pub Crawl. Evening concerts are at 7:30pm.

For more information visit their website at

Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

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March in Sarasota

By | February 25, 2015

Spring is here and our weather is outstanding so get out and enjoy the area. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of March:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for

More Information

March 1st 6th Annual Sarasota Invitational Regatta Sarasota Sarasota Invitational
March 1st Mixon Fruit Farms Annual

Orange Blossom Festival

Bradenton Mixon Fruit Farms
March 1st Coquina Tides Art & Craft Show Bradenton Beach Sunshine Artist
March 1-7th 37th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival Sarasota The Jazz Club of Sarasota
March 6th Music on Main Lakewood Ranch
March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29th Ski-A-Rees Waterski Show Lido Key Ski-A-Rees
March 7th 9th Annual Sarasota Springfest Sarasota Springfest
March 7th 24th Annual Island Heritage Day Anna Maria Island Anna Maria Island Historical Society
March 7th Bluegrass Picnic at Turtle Beach Siesta Key Turtle Beach Bluegrass
March 7-8th 36th Annual Train & Model Railroad Expo Palmetto Real Rail
March 7-8th 14th Annual Downtown Venice

Art Classic

March 11th Kids Day at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market Sarasota Farmhouse Market
March 12th “Courtyard Swing” at the Ringling Sarasota Ringling Museum
March 13-15th 87th Annual All-Florida Arcadia Rodeo Arcadia Arcadia Rodeo
March 13-22nd 79th Annual Sarasota County Fair Sarasota Sarasota Fair
March 14th 4th Annual Irish Celtic Festival Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch Community Activities
March 14th 12th Annual Firefighters Rib Cook Off Sarasota Sarasota Firefighters Benevolent Fund
March 14-15th 27th Annual Springfest Fine Arts and Crafts Festival Holmes Beach Anna Maria Island Art League
March 14-15th Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival Sarasota
March 15th 11th Annual Corvettes in Venice on the Isle Venice Venice Florida Corvettes
March 19th Ringling by the Bay Sarasota Ringling Museum
March 21st Great American Clean Up and Keep Sarasota County Beautiful Sarasota Sarasota County
March 21st Bradenton Dragon Boat Festival Bradenton Dragon Boat Festival
March 21-22nd 11th Annual Sarasota Folk Festival Osprey Sarasota Folk Festival
March 22nd Tour de Parks Venice Legacy Trail Friends
March 227-29th Annual Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival Palmetto Desoto Seafood Fest
March 27-31st PAL Sailor Circus Sarasota Circus Arts

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.

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Manatee County Heritage Days

By | February 21, 2015

Manatee County Heritage DaysMarch 1-31, 2015 the 36th annual Heritage Days celebration will focus on our county’s history. All month long, historical sites and organizations throughout our county will celebrate our community’s heritage by providing opportunities for our area’s residents and visitors to experience the past. Reenactments, special exhibits, lectures, open houses and family programming will highlight the month’s events.

For thirty-six years, the Manatee Heritage Association has sponsored Heritage Days. Originally a week in length, Heritage Days grew to nine days, and in 1995, Manatee Heritage Days expanded to a month long event. The activities are as varied as walking tours and concerts. Events take place throughout Manatee County in many different communities. Through these events at area historical sites, participants will experience the pioneer lifestyle and learn how Manatee County has grown and developed.

Attached is a schedule for events. Most are free, though some require a reservation or admission fee. For specific information about an event, please call the number listed on the schedule. For more information about the Manatee Heritage Days, in general, please call (941) 741-4070. Join with us in this countywide celebration of our community’s past.

View the Event Flyer

Missy Cleary is a Sales Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group in Sarasota. A long time Sarasota resident "living the dream" on the suncoast. Contact her to find your piece of Paradise today!

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Siesta Key Named #1 Beach by Trip Advisor

By | February 19, 2015


Crescent Beach on Siesta Key


Trip Advisor has just named Siesta Key the number one beach in the USA. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Sarasota have always known our beaches are the best but it’s nice to get this confirmation.


Here are just a few of the recent comments by Trip Advisor visitors:

“Pristine beach that never seems to end. Photographer’s dream. A place in the sun that warrants returning again and again.”

“The Nicest, Whitest, Sugarly Powdered Beach in the US!”                          Siesta Key is by far, the best, most sought after beach anywhere! There is no driving on the beach like there is on the east coast. The sand doesn’t dirty your feet and clothes, and it is 99% quartz, so it doesn’t stick to you. Almost year round temperatures make this a must do for couples, seniors, families, or Spring Break. Its safe, quant, charming, and always a “return to again and again” destination. A tip for all those planning to visit- there aren’t really any hotels on Siesta Key. Those desiring to come a week or more need to rent a condominium from a real estate office. Rates really drop after Easter, and its a great time to visit!

“White Sands”
Beautiful Quartz sand that’s cool to the touch even on the hottest summer day. Arrive early and stay late!

“Siesta Beach voted #1 in the Country!”
Trip Advisor users have voted Siesta Beach #1. Well deserved for this eight mile stretch of talcum powder sand and Gulf water beauty.

To see all the reviews and ratings visit


Born in New York, Matthew was raised on Siesta Key and has lived in the Sarasota area for over 30 years.  He’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been a licensed mortgage professional for over 12 years.

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Annual Historic Homes Tour in Sarasota

By | February 18, 2015

Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation

Sarasota Alliance for Historic PreservationThe Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is proud to present the 25th Annual Historic Homes Tour on Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the historic Laurel park neighborhood. The public is invited to celebrate Sarasota’s rich architectural heritage by touring 12 significant yet diverse structures in one of the first downtown neighborhoods established in 1925.

While enjoying a self-guided walking tour visitors will see antique cars provided by the Model ”A” Restorers Club/Antique Automobile Club of America that reflect the period of the homes.

Free parking will be available at the Senior Friendship Center at 1899 Brother Geenen Way and Crissy Galleries 640 South Washington Boulevard and the Woman’s Exchange 539 Orange Avenue. Tickets may be purchased for a donation of $20.00 on the Alliance’s Web page, or onsite the day of the tour in the parking lot of the Woman’s Exchange 539 Orange Avenue.

Prior to the day of the event, tickets are also available at the following locations:
Davidson Drugs-1281 S. Tamiami Trail, 5124 Ocean Blvd. and 6595 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota Architectural Salvage-1093 Central Avenue
Main Street Traders-1468 Main Street
Sarasota County Historical Society-1260 12th Street

The Sarasota Garden Club is volunteering to help the Alliance on the day of the tour. They will be selling tickets to their upcoming Gardens in Paradise Tour; for more information Click here.


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!

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Venice Area Audubon Society

By | February 12, 2015

Venice Area Audubon Society Logo

Venice Area Audubon Society LogoA notable mention from a new Venice resident/client that we have locally here is a volunteer based Audubon Society. They wanted me to mention what a joy it was to spend a few hours enjoying the outdoors and learning about all the different species of birds that we see everyday. Also to mention that the Audubon is celebrating 50 years, known internationally to bird photographers and is open to all visitors from dawn to dusk every day of the year.


Venice Area Audubon Society BirdThe Rookery island’s deep lake is small enough so that from the shaded pavilion benches even without binoculars you can get a clear view of the birds. It’s common this time of year to see Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Green Herons and more busily building their nests, courting, incubating eggs and raising their chicks. Optimal times to see or photograph the most birds are early morning or late afternoon. You are welcome to picnic here also. Contributions are accepted to support their work including bringing hundreds of students to the Rookery each year. It’s located at 4002 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL. Call 941-496-8984 or visit

As 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.

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I am Joining the Circus…..

By | February 10, 2015

Circus Arts Conservatory
Circus Arts Conservatory… this week with fabulous tickets to see the 2015 rendition of the Circus Sarasota’s newest show, ‘Fearless’… I’m sooo excited! This season will feature our hometown hero and King of the Highwire, Nik Wallenda, Nik Wallenda’s mother, Delilah Troffer, and wife Erendira. Graceful and lovely, aerialist Dolly Jacobs will fly through the air! An all time favorite and sure to please! Her father was the world famous clown, Lou Jacobs! We’ll get to see the seven person pryamid made famous decades ago by the Wallenda family! As a long time resident here I feel there’s circus in my blood too, what a wonderful part of our hometown history…. join the crowd, join the circus, the fun… wheeee!! Running now through February 22nd, tickets can be purchased at or 941-355-9805.
Read all about it at
Circus Fearless

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Q&A With Stage One Home Showcasing

By | February 6, 2015

Q&A With Carol Myers

Carol Is A Professional Home Stager Who Can Help You Maximize Your Sale Price When It’s Time To Sell.

 In this week’s segment we’re going to talk with Carol Myers of Stage One Home Showcasing.  I first met Carol through educational broker caravan tours I organize for the Suncoast Regional Young Professional’s Network; she’s quickly become an invaluable asset to our team with her gifted eye for color and flow.

Even though we’re in a really hot market, prices have gone up enough that we’re seeing buyers balk at homes they perceive to have cosmetic issues and the inventory is large enough again that they have the flexibility to move on.  Home staging can be exceptionally useful on two fronts in today’s market: a home that sells itself will almost always sell faster, and homes that sell faster almost always sell for more money.

I sat down with Carol this week for a little Q&A.

First off, can you tell me a little more about yourself so my readers know what it is that you do?

I am a Home Stager.  Home Staging is a term used for preparing a house -aesthetically- prior to putting it up for sale.  The goal of staging is to increase the chances of selling a home quickly for the most money possible by transforming the residence into a welcoming, appealing and attractive potential home.

In your experience, are there any mistakes or oversights you see homeowners make over and over again that they can easily fix if they just knew what to look for?

1Lt4o7bYN9eLxgLkxewykAP8First of all it’s important to understand the difference between decluttering and home staging.  Yes, it’s most important that the house be as neat and clean as possible, but the use and flow of the space is equally as important.  If furniture or other objects are blocking a path to allow easy maneuvering within the house, then no matter how clean and decluttered a place is, most Buyers will not visualize an open flow and they will feel “trapped” within the space.  Second, every room must show its purpose.  Using a dining room as an office might work for the Seller, but when the house is listed it should show the dining room as a dining room.  Staging can easily correct these problems.

Are there things you think EVERY seller should look at if they’re getting ready to sell? (paint, flooring, etc.)

Yes. Definitely.  Picture yourself walking into a hotel room.  The bed is not made.  The walls have fingerprints and smudges on them.  The carpet is dirty and smells like smoke.  The bathrooms look dingy and dirty.  Would you want to stay in this room, even for one night?  If you walk into a hotel room, and the first thing you say is, “Oh!  I could LIVE here, it’s so pretty!”  That’s what a Seller should be thinking, because that’s what a potential Buyer is thinking also.

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Let’s say we have a home that’s relatively original or could maybe use some cosmetic work.  Short of retrograding the entire home what steps should owners consider?  

It’s a well known fact that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell the house.  If you’re going to put money into anything, even just to make those rooms look fresh and new, those are the rooms you want to focus on.  New carpets and painting is an easy fix, and those changes don’t require a huge financial investment. Even if you think the Buyer is going to gut a room, you need to show the potential of that room.  Some Buyers want to be able to move in, spend some time in their new home, and then make designing decisions.  Again, you need to show the potential of the house.

What do you think are the biggest things buyers look for when they walk through the door?

beautiful-living-room-home-interior-design-ideas (1)The first thing a Buyer sees is the front of the house and how it’s been cared for.  If the exterior looks like it’s not been tended to, then unless the Buyer is looking for a tear-down, they will probably not even go inside to see what the house has to offer.  Like the hotel room scenario, a Buyer wants to walk into a house and smile, thinking “I want to live here!”


What are your thoughts on paint and carpet colors?

Here’s a question I get a lot: “How does a Designer differ from a Home Stager?” A Designer designs with the homeowner in mind, and his/her job is to make the homeowner happy and comfortable in his home.  Paint and carpet colors are very specific to the homeowner’s taste.  A Home Stager has to think of the majority of people, who might come to see this house, so more neutral colors are used for both paint and carpet colors.  Even a soft pink will turn some potential Buyers away, so you have to find a color that provides a warm, welcoming feeling, in which most Buyers can picture their furniture and belongings.  The purpose is to get as many people into the house, which in turn “ups the ante” as far as offers to buy.

How important is curb appeal?

As I said before, curb appeal is EXTREMELY important.  Realtors have told me that sometimes, even as they approach the house, a Buyer will say, “Just keep going.  This house looks run down, old, dirty, uncared for, shabby, etc.  Even the bushes and flowers are dead.”  Who wants to live in a house like that?  And even more important, it makes you wonder how well the owner takes care of the house altogether.

Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know?

My answers to your questions can serve as guidelines to the Seller, but all of this takes not only time, but a true vision of how the house should look before it’s put on the market.  That’s where a Home Stager can help.  Statistics say that 9 out of 10 people who look at a house to buy cannot envision their belongings in someone else’s house, whether that house has furniture or is completely empty.  A Home Stager can.  A Home Stager is always working with both the Seller and the Buyer in mind.  A Stager wants to get the house to look like a model home, so the Seller can feel confident that his house will sell quickly.  At the same time the Stager is working for the Buyer, helping them to quickly envision THEIR belongings in that house, which makes their decision to buy the house a whole lot easier!

Alex Krumm is a Broker-Associate with Re/Max Alliance Group, a short sale expert, and a GRI.  He's a service oriented agent with the state-of-the-art tools to empower you in your next real estate transaction. You can also see him online at

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Bradenton Area Riverfest Regatta

By | February 5, 2015

Bradenton Riverwalk Regatta

Bradenton Riverwalk RegattaThis Saturday, February 7th from 8am to 12pm there will be a free signature event for the region to celebrate community and the recreational assets of Bradenton Riverwalk and the Manatee River.

Featuring powerboat racing, jet-ski racing, world champion BMX, Frisbee dog and extreme pogo shows, food festival and kids zone and a fireworks spectacular from America’s “first family of fireworks,” Zambelli!

For more information visit


Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

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Sarasota Sales Hit All Time High – Manatee Misses Mark By Just 38 Homes

By | January 26, 2015

Sarasota Prices Up Up UpTo say we were busy in 2014 is an understatement: as it turns out, we were the busiest we’ve ever been. Home sales in Sarasota averaged almost 1,000 transactions per month throughout the year – and there’s no end in sight to our current appreciation.

What Does This Mean For Me?

If you’re a homeowner in the Sarasota area then it means things are sitting pretty. The average home has seen double digit annual appreciation for three years running now and most homeowners are finding they have significant equity in their homes again. There’s limited inventory available and multiple offers for homes in lower price ranges are the norm, not the exception.

If you’re thinking about purchasing then this should be a wake-up call. Our median price right now for a single family home is $195,500. At twelve percent appreciation that means a wait of just six months will raise your expected purchase price by almost $12,000.

… OK, But What’s Going To Happen This Year?

The short answer is that home prices are likely to continue to rise as we face stunningly limited inventory and strong buyer responses to new, properly marketed listings. It’s hard to keep up with the volume of buyer calls and I’ve dedicated four full-time buyer’s agents on my team to handle the influx of buyers. The longer I can keep them busy the higher prices will go.

Long term I think more homeowners will take advantage of higher prices and lower interest rates and list their homes for sale. Most sellers will turn around and buy something else (our population density almost always goes up regardless of the housing market – why would anyone want to live anywhere BUT here??). Interest rates are under 4% for most buyers and sellers want to be able to take advantage of positive appreciation quickly on the home they move into,.

… So Does This Mean We’re In A Bubble?

There’s the million dollar question! Let’s contrast what’s happening this year with the housing bubble of ’04-’06.

During our previous housing boom most buyers were financed, and many were placed into dangerous loan products with interest-only loans and/or negative amortization; after a year of payments, they’d actually owe MORE on their home than at the beginning of the year. These days borrowers have to run a mortgage gauntlet and have to demonstrate a continued ability to repay the loan – a significant change from ten years ago.

Another major factor is the preponderance of cash buyers in our market. In some price points the buyers pay cash up to 70% of the time. That’s double the national average of cash buyers and it means that most buyers don’t just have significant equity: they have nothing BUT equity, which means lower long-term carrying costs and the ability to sit out down markets.

Prices will eventually start to slide. That’s normal, and a little stabilization is good for any housing market. I just don’t think it’s going to happen in 2015. I also don’t think we’re going to see a bubble like before – the contributing factors just aren’t there.

Prices Are Up – What’s Your Home Worth? 

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Alex Krumm is a Broker-Associate with Re/Max Alliance Group, a short sale expert, and a GRI.  He's a service oriented agent with the state-of-the-art tools to empower you in your next real estate transaction. You can also see him online at

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