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RE/MAX Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Both Home Buyers and Home Sellers

By | August 4, 2011

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 27 July 2011 — Although conditions in the real estate market point to the continued existence of a buyers’ market, home buyers indicate they are less satisfied with real estate company services, compared with 2010, while home-seller satisfaction has improved during the same time period, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM released today.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction of home buyers and sellers with the largest national real estate companies. Overall satisfaction is determined by examining three factors of the home-buying experience: agent/salesperson; office; and variety of additional services. Four factors are examined for the home-selling experience: agent/salesperson; marketing; office; and variety of additional services.

Click here to view the full press release: http://www.jdpower.com/news/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2011117

 

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New Waterfront Dining in Bradenton

By | July 23, 2011

We were happy to discover a new restaurant located right on the bank of the Manatee River in Bradenton. Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar has just been open a couple of weeks but judging by the crowd last night, people have already discovered this great spot for dining or just having a drink.

There is a dining area under cover with tables around a large bar as well as outside tables with umbrellas. Almost all of the seats have a view of the water. They are well prepared if the occasional rain shower rolls in as the restaurant has roll down plastic walls with windows to keep you dry. Even in the heat of the afternoon we were kept cool with the many fans fitted with misters. 

They are open for lunch and dinner and the menu has lots of variety so there is something for everyone. During happy hour (3-6pm) there are drink specials and bar bites at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere is very relaxed…it was like being on vacation for an afternoon!

Adjacent to the restaurant is a thatched roof tiki hut with another bar and lots of seating. They maximized the water views with bar/railing and stools all along the riverfront. If you’re up for an activity, there is a sand volleyball court and they have “cornhole” games set up between the restaurant and bar. And for the sports fan there are a number of big screen tv’s mounted in the tiki hut. Live bands perform every evening. It’s just a fun place so check it out if you’re in the area…you won’t be disappointed!

The location is just north of SR64 (aka Manatee Avenue) on 7th Street East next to the Manatee Landings Marina. If you prefer to come by boat they are at MM24 and have plenty of docking space.

 

 

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Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

By | July 20, 2011

Buffet Table at Polo GrilleIn Cajun, that means ‘let the good times roll’ – and that’s definitely what happened this weekend at Polo Grill’s 4th annual Shrimp Boil! I’ll be honest, I went for the food – there’s nothing like Billeaud’s boudin and fresh shrimp to get me rolling – but it was the ambiance that really made this a night to remember.

Featuring newspaper-lined tables, dollar drafts, and live music from the Gumbo Boogie Band – where they found a real, live, Louisiana cajun band I’ll never know – the normally restrained restaurant was transformed into a rollin’, trollin’, shrimp-boilin’ good time.
 

 

Here are some more pics:

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Sarasota Real Estate Sales for June

By | July 12, 2011

The Sarasota Association of Realtors report the real estate market continues healthy sales in June 2011!

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® continued to sell properties at a brisk pace in June 2011 with 728 total transactions recorded last month. This marks the fourth month in the last 12 with sales exceeding the 700 level – all occurring in 2011. In addition, the median sales price for single family homes hit the highest level since last June, and the total inventory of available properties dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade, which could spur stronger competition for homes and condos.

“It is encouraging to see how the Sarasota market has continued this strong momentum in the face of continuing weakness in the national and state economies,” said SAR President Michael Bruno. “The inventory of available properties, which is lower than it has been since the 1990s, is a very important statistic. Historically, prices rise as competition for homes increases, and we’re seeing that occurring in our market. The percentage of distressed property sales is stabilizing, so prices should naturally continue to rise.”

To view the complete report with statistical information visit: http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/SRMAGJune2011Stats110712105200.pdf

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Has The Sarasota Real Estate Market Bottomed Out?

By | July 7, 2011

I Wear My Thinking Cap On Thursdays.

I Wear My Thinking Cap On Thursdays.

Well, it’s raining outside, which means I’m probably not going to get a whole lot of phone calls today. That’s OK – it gives me time to address some of those burning questions that have been keeping me up at night: is tau really more accurate than pi? What’s that weird smell coming from my closet? … and, perhaps most importantly, has the Sarasota real estate market bottomed out or is everyone just faking it?

Oops, just got a phone call. Looks like I only have time to answer one burning question – I guess I’ll look into the Sarasota real estate market.

A Quick Look At The Numbers

In order to get a better feel for what the market is for most people, we’re only going to look at key markers for homes priced $80,000 – $800,000. That should leave off all the garbage at the bottom end of the spectrum (which follows the ‘someone-will-buy-it-if-it’s-cheap-enough’ rule) and also the really high-end stuff (which follows the ‘I’ve-got-so-much-dough-I-can’t-ever-blow-through-it’ rule.) We’re also going to look back at only sales that have closed in the last 12 months, and we’ll compare today’s numbers to numbers from the same month range in 2005-2006, which is widely recognized as the historical height of our market. We’ll also look 10 years back – remember what THAT was like? (Hint: the Rams beat the Titans in the Super Bowl. WOW.)

Single Family Homes

Year Avg. List Price Avg. Sale Price Avg. LP/SP Ratio Avg. Days On Market Total # of Sales
’10-’11 $256,675 $237,777 93% 181 2,302
’05-’06 $366,988 $354,385 97% 71 2,583
’00-’01 $220,324 $212,673 97 70 594

 

Condos (includes apartment-style, townhouses, and villas)

Year Avg. List Price Avg. Sale Price Avg. LP/SP Ratio Avg. Days On Market Total # of Sales
’10-’11 $243,121 $223,629 92% 149 1,451
’05-’06 $334,886 $325,750 97% 66 1,782
’00-’01 $216,540 $207,562 96% 72 256

** Source: My Florida Regional MLS. All dates July 8 – July 7 of the specified years.

… So What’s It All Mean?

At first glance, we notice that the sale price/list price ratio for the past year is lower than the other two periods and the average days-on-market are much higher. That’s OK – historically, our sale price/list price ratio hovers right around 93%, so we’re actually right on par for where real estate has been locally for the past 50 years.

And the days-on-market number is a simple function of supply-and-demand – there weren’t a whole lot of sales from 2007-2008, and a ton of properties have come on the market as short sales and foreclosures, which led to an oversupply of housing. We’re through a lot of that now (no, really. Check out what Inman News says about it – over 50% of experts agree that home prices have bottomed out.) In fact, our inventory is lower than it has been since the boom. And check out the sales activity – houses are flying off the market just as quickly as they did at the absolute height of the market, and we’re not seeing any slowdown at all.

But, really, it all means nothing. If you need a house, you should buy one. Period. It’s the same now as it’s always been – real estate is real-life purchase and housing is just a basic necessity of life. Sure, there’s a ton of money to be made in it, and people will ALWAYS need a place to live. The population is still growing exponentially. Contrary to popular belief, the country isn’t about to fall of its rocker. Things are getting better again – and that makes it a prime time to buy.

Now to figure out what’s going on in my closet …

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AMERICAN STYLE MAGAZINE RATES TOP 25 SMALL CITIES FOR ART…

By | June 7, 2011

Lifestyle Magazine features contemporary art, artists, galleries and art festivals. In the May (Summer Issue) just released the top 25 small artistic cities were revealed.

Sarasota FL, having long been known as a cultural destination, has climbed from the 2010 No.11 position to the No.5 spot this year!

Just another “great” reason to call Sarasota, FL home.

For more information and to sign up for a “Free” American Style Newsletter visit:
American Style Magazine

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Housing Shortage on the Horizon?

By | May 23, 2011

Mike Castleman, founder and CEO of Metrostudy, which tracks real-time data of the country’s inventory of new homes, says a housing shortage is looming that will soon will create a huge surge in demand for new homes. As such, now is the time to buy, he says.

In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, 78,000 houses are either vacant and for sale, or under construction that is less than a quarter of the new homes that fell in that category during the housing boom in 2006 and way below the level of a decade ago.

“If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” says Castleman. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”

The historic drop in new construction mixed with the decline in housing prices is laying the foundation for a dramatic recovery in residential real estate, Castleman told CNN. Castleman expects home owners soon will start returning, which will drive up prices in many markets later this year.

While demand remains low for new construction, he expects that to change. He foresees the recovery following a similar path as previous ones: A severe housing shortage will drive a big increase in demand.

“We’ll get a big surge in demand and the drywall companies will take a long time to ramp up, and it will take years to get new lots approved,” he predicts. “Buyers will show up looking for a house in a subdivision, and all the houses will be sold. The builders will tell them it will take six months to deliver a house.” But they’ll want the house so bad that they’ll “bid the prices up.”

Source: “Real Estate: It’s Time to Buy Again,” CNN (March 28, 2011)

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Siesta Key Beach

By | May 8, 2011

Crescent Beach on Siesta Key

The great Dr. Beach has spoken…and do we have news for you..  Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach now holds 2010’s Number 2 spot in the Nation for ‘Top Ten Beaches’!

Of course it’s still Number 1 for those of us who have chosen to live here and are we ever lucky! It’s the best place we know to take a beach walk, picnic or watch a magnificient sunset.  Some travel far and wide to experience Sunday Drum Circle or view sandsculpture competitions. You should check it out for yourself!

We are lucky to be here that’s true, wish you were here..  Read more about it at http://www.drbeach.org/DetailedList.htm

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Listings Compete to make the “Must See” Property List

By | May 4, 2011

With a high inventory count in the Sarasota/Bradenton market place Realtors and Buyers can afford to be picky in which properties they would like to see when they go out with their Realtor. Often times the pictures and the way the home looks in the pictures can influence their choice. Now more than ever it is important to make your home standout above the rest. The Cleary Group has found an interior designer who can assist Sellers in staging their home so that it shows in tip-top shape Below is the the service Marsha Ritter and Associates can provide.

Expert advice on how to stage a home for sale doesn’t have to be expensive. Let Marsha Ritter Interiors help get your home ready for sale. In one hour we can come in and give helpful tips and ideas to make a home more appealing for a quick and easy sale. Below are some samples of our work…just click the first image to view the gallery of before and after photos:

Over 30 years in the Interior Design business gives us an edge up on the latest trends in the housing market. We use what is already in the house in different ways to give a fresh new look to the home. Whether it’s a quick paint color change or just editing your wall art we will guide you through the preparation process. Give us a call to schedule an appointment. (941) 993-7002 or e-mail: marsha@mrinteriors.net.

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May Events in and around Sarasota

By | April 29, 2011

Sarasota Skyline from City Island

Many of our seasonal residents have returned north so it’s a great time to get out and enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of May:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for More Information
May 1st 33rd Annual Siesta Fiesta Siesta Key Siesta Fiesta
May 1-31st Ringling School of Art & Design Adult Classes Sarasota Ringling School of Art
May 1st Spring Garden Tour Sarasota UF Extension Service
May 1st The Garden Music Series – Sarasota Brass Quintet Sarasota Selby Gardens
May 1st Annual Jazz on the Water Cruise on LeBarge Sarasota Jazz Club of Sarasota
May 4th Courthouse Square Concerts Bradenton Manatee County Courthouse
May 5th 2nd Annual Fiesta on Main Street Sarasota Fiesta on Main
May 5th Bluegrass Jam at Bee Ridge Park Sarasota Sarasota County Parks
May 6-21st New College Art Exhibition Sarasota New College
May 7th Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market Bradenton Farmers Market
May 7th Cruzin’ on Dearborn Englewood Englewood Village
May 7th Classic Corvettes on the Circle St. Armands St. Armands Circle
May 8th Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest Siesta Key Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce
May 9th “Driving Miss Daisy” Monday Night Movies at Ringling Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 13-14th Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Celebration Anna Maria Island SRQ Magazine
May 13th Paradise Found Tropical Dance Party Osprey Bentley’s Resort Hotel
May 14h 15th Annual Big Truck Day Sarasota Phillippi Estate Park
May 15th Drum Circle Siesta Key Drum Circle
May 18th Dialogues with Florida’s Past Sarasota New College Campus
May 19th Art After 5: Jazz on the Bay Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 19th Rennie Harris Puremovement Sarasota Asolo Theatre
May 20th Reels at Rossi Park “Rising Stars” Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 20th May Art Walk at Towles Court Sarasota Towles Court
May 21st Party on the Plaza Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 21st Pups at the Point: Pets Playtime at the Museum Osprey Spanish Point Museum
May 21-22nd 8th Annual Downtown Sarasota Craft Fair Sarasota Art Festival
May 25th Southeastern Guide Dogs Campus Tour Sarasota Southeastern Guide Dogs
May 25th Hurricane Preparedness Program Sarasota Twin Lakes Park
May 28th Native Plant Walk at Deer Prairie Creek Preserve Venice Native Plant Society
May 31st Afternoon at the Movies Venice Jacaranda Library

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!

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