Sarasota History Alive 8th Edition

By | November 29, 2011

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Sarasota Real Estate Market Statistics for October 2011

By | November 18, 2011

The Sarasota Association of Realtors reports that property sales for October 2011 in the Sarasota real estate market outpaced last October, with 577 this year compared to only 487 at the same time last year. This represents an 18.4 percent increase, and could be a harbinger for a busy season.

There was also a small increase in transactions compared to September 2011, when 570 sales were recorded. Overall, sales in 2011 are on pace to exceed last year, a remarkable fact considering that 2010 sales were at the highest level since 2005.

The inventory of available properties for sale in Sarasota, after dropping precipitously over the course of 2011, was again up slightly in October to 4,525 from last month’s 4,430 level. The inventory sunk to a 10-year low of 4,408 in August 2011.

The October 2011 median sale price for single family homes dropped to $149,838 from last month’s figure of $165,000. But the amount was higher than last October, when it was $147,500. The condo figure has been fluctuating for several months, and rose slightly in October 2011 to $143,000 from last month’s figure of $140,000. Last year at this time, the figure stood at $158,525. The year-to-date median sale price was $155,000 for single family homes and $162,000 for condos. These figures have remained remarkably steady for the past year, indicating a more stable market.

To see the full report with statistical charts click here.

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Sarasota History Alive 7th Edition

By | November 17, 2011

With all the fuss these days about post offices being closed down and the price of stamps going up, I’m glad some places where we used to pick up our mail, or had items shipped, are still here and are a class-act. Our Federal Building was a post office back in the 1940s until a new one was constructed next door in the 1960s. The Federal Building is on the National Register, and we are saluting her today in our video. Click here to find out more.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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Sarasota – A Video Tour

By | November 16, 2011

It’s amazing what you can find online! One of our agents recently stumbled upon a really great video that captures the essence of our Sarasota lifestyle. It’s hard sometimes to get to know an area when you’ve never been there in person, but the World Wide Web really has made the world a little bit smaller.

Here’s the video. I couldn’t say it better myself!

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What’s HOT in Sarasota this Week!

By | November 11, 2011

Sometimes, locals take for granted that we “know” where to live, where the best investments are, best restaurants, best neighborhoods, and where we would move to – if we were going to move.

This week in “what’s hot” – I want to highlight the Palmer Ranch area. Palmer Ranch is comprised of roughly 10,000 acres, originally owned by one of Sarasota’s most influential founders – Bertha Honore Palmer. Just minutes to world famous Siesta Key, Palmer Ranch offers a myriad of cultural activities, shopping and restaurants, and one of the best school districts in Sarasota. I also have to mention how close it is to the Legacy Trail, which is 10.6 miles great for walking or biking and extends from inside Palmer Ranch all the way to Venice.

For every type of discriminating buyer, there is an equal number of neighborhoods in Palmer Ranch offering everything from gated communities like Turtle Rock, Silver Oak, TPC at Prestancia and Deer Creek to Single Family homes, condos, townhouses, coach style homes and maintenance free villas – which some call care-free living at its best.

If golf is your game – check out the deals that are available in TPC at Prestancia, Silver Oak or Country Club of Sarasota. If tennis is more your style, the above communities will work too, or check out some of my favorites like Village Walk, or Stoneybrook.

The best part about Palmer Ranch is that there is a little bit of everything for everyone. Prices for Palmer Ranch real estate range from $60,000 for a one bedroom, one bath condo all the way up to $1 million.

Florida’s Gulf coast has something for everyone – let Jay and Danielle Ratwani help you find your perfect retreat to paradise today! Email us at or visit us on the web at

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Sarasota History Alive 6th Edition

By | November 10, 2011

Harry Ben Rigby platted out his La Plaza Subdivision in 1925, and completed his unique enclave of Spanish Eclectic structures in 1926. They were perfect for him to house his family, and his Sarasota Real Estate Exchange office in their home, on the corner of Alta Vista and Osprey Avenue.

The other structures were meant to be affordable seasonal rentals and places for investors to stay while planning their dream homes. This was all great until the real estate market bottomed out, not long after their completion. Harry was forced to sell in 1930, and hunt and fish for food to feed his family. These structures stand as a reminder of what affordable houses could look like, even today.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill at Island Park in Sarasota

By | November 5, 2011

Welcome to our waterfront tiki bar complete with a huge palm-frond covered deck and waterfront tiki bar! O’Leary’s has been around for years and is situated right on Sarasota Bay overlooking the water on Island Park in Sarasota. The restaurant is quite casual with window service only. It has waterfront picnic tables and is dog-friendly.

O’Leary’s features a guitar player (at least every time we go there) singing beach tunes. The energy and setting is great, the beer and wine is priced ok, and the food is, well, what you’d expect for window service. O’Leary’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and dinners usually run between $6-12. A pitcher of domestic beer is around $9. They have a full bar too.

We love O’Leary’s for its casual, waterfront atmosphere and because it is, unfortunately, one of the few remaining waterfront restaurants still around. Don’t forget, many people bring their dogs because it is very dog-friendly, so come and walk Island Park and settle in for some tunes at O’Leary’s, enjoy some average food and a great Sarasota waterfront lifestyle-if only for an hour or so. Oh yeah, you can come by boat as well but docking is limited and is adjacent to Enticer Watersports where they rent jet-ski’s and power boats, etc. O’Leary’s is calling your name and is located at 5 Bayfront Dr. on Island Park near Marina Jack’s in Sarasota.

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Sarasota History Alive 5th Edition

By | November 3, 2011

In honor of the 4th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival, we are doing an encore presentation of our video when the festival was gaining ground to become a very popular venue for our community. It has grown exponentially, and has overcome some hurdles to once again grace downtown’s Burns Court area on South Pineapple Avenue this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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Truck Vs. House: The Saga Begins …

By | November 2, 2011

Q: What’s worse than David Arquette getting voted off Dancing With The Stars?

A: Watching David Arquette get voted off DWTS … and then getting a phone call from your tenant telling you that a drunk driver just ran a 2,000 pound truck into your house.

Being the consummate real estate professional that I am, the first thought that crossed my mind was “well, THAT’LL make a good blog post!” :) … so here we are.

No one expects something like this to happen, but when it does, it’s a good reminder that sometimes life can throw you curveballs. Over the next two months (yes, that’s how long this is expected to take) I’ll be writing a series of short articles about how to deal with a problem like this. It’s a complicated fix with a lot of moving parts – I’ll need a structural engineer, a good general contractor, building permits, and some patient tenants – but it should make for a pretty good story.

If you’ve got any advice for me, please leave it in the comments. There are a lot of different ways to go about this and I’d love to hear what you have to say!


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Sarasota History Alive 4th Edition

By | October 27, 2011

Rosemary Cemetery is burial place for many early Sarasota citizens, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs including Scotsman John Hamilton Gillespie. We like to show this video during this time of year to set the mood for All Hallows Eve.

The cemetery was set aside in plat “Town of Sarasota”, filed on July 27, 1886.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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