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Anna Maria Island One of the Top 30 Islands in the World

By | October 29, 2014

Anna Maria Island Aerial ViewThe 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.”

Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

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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Lakewood Ranch Information

By | October 27, 2014

Lakewood Ranch, FloridaAs 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.

Click Here To See All The Available Homes For Sale In Lakewood Ranch »

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 www.sarasotapropertygroup.com.

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November in Sarasota

By | October 27, 2014

NovemberWith 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
Nov. 14-17th

Sarasota Chalk Festival

Venice Chalk Festival
Nov. 15th

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.

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Bijou Cafe for Fine Dining in the Theater & Arts District of Sarasota

By | October 24, 2014

bijou

bijouThe 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.

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Sarasota Real Estate Statistics for September 2014

By | October 22, 2014

business graph in blueThe 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.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!

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Jazz on the Water Cruise

By | October 21, 2014

Jazz Club of SarasotaThe 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.

Le BargeGuests 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.

Compliments SRQ The Magazine
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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Save Our Seabirds

By | October 17, 2014

Pelicans

PelicansWe 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.org

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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Rosa Fiorelli Winery

By | October 14, 2014

Rosa Fiorelli Winery

Rosa Fiorelli WineryLast 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.

www.fiorelliwinery.com

 

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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Sarasota Real Estate Statistics for August 2014

By | October 2, 2014

graphThe 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!

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Sarasota Top Dog Show

By | October 2, 2014

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.

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
Compliments SRQ Magazine
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.

Read more »