Informational Articles

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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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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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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November Events in and Around Sarasota

By | October 28, 2011


Fall festivals, art shows, new theatre productions, music and more! It’s a great time to get out and enjoy some of the activities happening in the area during the month of November:



Event or Activity


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More Information

Nov. 1st Artist Series Concert – Jessica Mathaes, Violin Sarasota Historic Asolo Theatre
Nov. 1-30th Get Lost in the Maze Myakka City Dakin Dairy Farms
Nov. 1-30th ‘That’s Life, Again’ at the Goldstein Cabaret Sarasota Florida Studio Theatre
Nov. 3rd ‘Now and Then’ Chamber Soiree Sarasota Sarasota Orchestra
Nov. 4th Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Nov. 4-7th Sarasota Chalk Festival Sarasota Chalk Festival
Nov. 5th 24th Annual Downtown Venice Arts Festival Venice Art Festival
Nov. 5th Sarasota Blues Festival Sarasota Sarasota Blues Fest
Nov. 9th Courthouse Square Concert Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 10-14th Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Siesta Key Crystal Sand
Nov. 11th Veterans Day Parade Sarasota City of Sarasota
Nov. 12th Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market with Chef Brady Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 12th Pioneer Day at the Park @ Crocker Memorial Church Sarasota Historical Society of Sarasota County
Nov. 12th Benny Kimsey’s Bluegrass Picnic at Turtle Beach Siesta Key Turtle Beach Bluegrass
Nov. 12-13th 23rd Annual St. Armands Art Festival and Sidewalk Sale Sarasota St. Armands Circle
Nov. 12-13 and 19-20 Sarasota Medieval Fair Sarasota Sarasota Medieval Fair
Nov. 15th New College Fall Chorus Concert Sarasota New College of Florida
Nov. 17th Get Down Downtown Street Party Bradenton City of Bradenton
Nov. 19th Cortez Village Folk Art Festival Cortez Cortez Village
Nov. 19th Holiday Music Magic Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 19-20th Harvest Festival and Craft Fair Bradenton Mixon Fruit Farms
Nov. 20th 5th Annual Children’s Reading and Art Festival Sarasota The Children’s Garden
Nov. 23-26th Sarasota Six-A-Side Festival Lakewood Ranch Sarasota International Cricket Club
Nov. 26th Venice Holiday Parade Venice Ciry of Venice
Nov. 30-Dec. 7th Holiday Festival of Trees Sarasota Powel Crosley Estate

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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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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Important Aspects of Selecting a Great Neighborhood

By | October 21, 2011

Many of my clients frequently ask the question – “How do I know if a neighborhood is good or bad?”. My answer has always been very careful due to the fact that I have worked with buyers from all over the world and I have found that what appeals to one buyer may not appeal to everyone. However, when I really started giving it some thought, I realized that ultimately, what drew me to my own neighborhood wasn’t who my neighbors were going to be, but the school district that I was going to be placing my son into, as well as the proximity to everything (shopping, the Interstate, entertainment, parks, and of course, the #1 rated Siesta Key Beach).

Any economist will tell you that in order for a neighborhood to be “good” you must weigh some important factors such as proximity to shopping, high household income, unemployment rate, and school district. Those factors will many times pre-determine how a neighborhood will perform with regards to how well the neighborhood is maintained and how well the home values will appreciate. As a Realtor, we often see communities with strong HOA’s looking great with perfectly manicured lawns, however, that should not detract from neighborhoods like Southgate that have a voluntary HOA. Very rarely have I driven through Southgate and seen anything but wonderful homes with great lawns. Lets keep in mind that many of the 1,000 homes in Southgate are assigned to Southside Elementary, Brookside Middle and Sarasota High. Southgate also has 4 parks within a 2 mile radius, and we are just 5 minutes to Siesta Key and Longboat Key, and just minutes to the Legacy Bike Trail which is a 12 mile bike trail that extends from Sarasota all the way to Venice.

One of the many things that I love about Sarasota, is whether you decide on the Southgate area, Gulfgate area, or even Lakewood Ranch area, you will find all of the important factors, which is why I call Sarasota “my little piece of Paradise”.

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Sarasota History Alive 3rd Edition

By | October 20, 2011

St. Armands Key has its roots firmly planted in John Ringling’s vision of becoming a beautiful residential area, with a centralized shopping and park feature to attract the well-to-do. What’s more, he knew that imported European statuary would add greatly to making this a reality. He was right!


Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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